Business Group Blog

Strategies for Increasing Employee Engagement in Health and Well-being

Simply adding new well-being programs at your organization is often not enough to increase the health and well-being of your employees. Often times, low engagement rates can become a barrier to creating a culture of well-being at your organization.

To help combat this, the Business Group has proposed several strategies to help increase employee engagement in health and well-being in the workplace.

  1. Identify and leverage influencers from within your organization

    Employees are influenced by many different people within their organization. In a recent joint survey conducted by the Business Group and Welltok, respondents identified colleagues as the individuals most likely to motivate them to improve their health.
    Who motivates you to improve your health?*

    health engagement

    Source: Welltok and National Business Group on Health. Whispers from the Water Cooler. July 2016.
    *Percentages reflect respondents who indicated their top two people/groups that motivate them to improve their health.

  2. Create an engaging workspace

    Office environments can have a substantial impact on employee collaboration. To increase employee collaboration, organizations can utilize low-wall cubicles or increase open common spaces. Collaboration can increase social connectedness. People with a best friend at work are seven times more likely to be engaged in their jobs and are better at engaging customers.1
  3. Consider financial incentives

    Employees often state that financial incentives will motivate them to engage in health and well-being activities. Unfortunately, research has indicated that these behavior changes are temporary and employees revert to old habits once the incentives stop. Despite this, incentives can still be a useful tool to promote engagement. This is particularly true for promoting one-time tasks such as health assessments and biometric screenings. In two separate studies of 124 and 36 employers, an incentive of $50 increased health assessment participation to approximately 40%-45% and incentives of $100 increased participation to 50%- 60%. Health assessment participation can reach 65%-80% with incentives of $200, and as high as 90% with $300-$450 incentives.2, 3

See the Business Group’s Drivers of Employee Well-being page or the Engagement Toolkit for additional strategies on engagement.




  1. Rath T, Harter JK. Wellbeing: The five essential elements. NY: Gallup Press; 2010.
  2. Taitel MS, Haufle V, Heck D, Loeppke R, Fetterolf D. Incentives and other factors associated with employee participation in health risk assessments. J Occup Environ Med. 2008;50(8):863-872.
  3. Anderson DR, Grossmeier J, Seaverson ELD, Snyder D. The role of financial incentives in driving employee engagement in health management. ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal. 2008;12(4):18-22.