Employers doing health care incentives and punishments


Employers are rolling out both incentives and punishments for employees when it comes to their health care.

The Florida Sun Sentinel reports one company, if they can document that employees walk an hour a day, give employees a $200 bonus. Another company gives employees a $10 gift card when they have their annual health checkup.

But if you smoke, there could be a surcharge on your health coverage through increased premiums (note that this practice is not legal in every state.)

The idea of behavior-based rewards and punishments is spreading around the country. A couple of national surveys show that over the next four years, two-thirds of companies will offer rewards and half will have penalties in place.

Now, some people feel like, “What business is it of my employer if I smoke?” Well, it is their money that funds your health care. So I think it’s their right to care.

In another health care trend at work, a Wall Street Journal article I read reports that meetings where people stand up are becoming all the rage in Silicon Valley.

After I retired in the late 1980s, I did a stint as a consultant for a publishing company that had been growing quite quickly but was disorganized. Among their problems were meetings that went on for hours. So I suggested standing meetings where people stood, rather than taking seats around a table. They tried it and loved it because it really whittled meeting times down.

The other idea I never thought of is, if people in your organization tend to be long winded, try scheduling meetings just before lunchtime. Don’t bring lunch in, though. People getting to their points so they can get to lunch will become a real priority.

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