14 Employee Rewards for Corporate Wellness Program Participants

14 Employee Rewards for Corporate Wellness Program Participants

Our clients come to us all the time with stories of step challenges gone from fun to a little competitive.

There have been funny stories of bosses trying to out-walk employees. Tales of team walking outings or fitness challenges. Anecdotes of employees dragging their families out for evening walks to add in steps — and much more.

The stories all have three things in common: fitness, fun and friendship. They’ve all been recounted with a laugh — and desire for more healthy, team-building activities, such as Matchup’s corporate wellness challenge solutions. Many of these challenges are based on bragging rights alone: When teams form at work, it can be tempting to work together and pull ahead of others for the sake of water cooler trash talk. (That’s still friendly, of course.) But some of our clients have gone above and beyond, offering amazing prizes and incentives as part of their challenge competitions.

If you’re looking to start your own workplace wellness initiative, check out these ideas for employee rewards. No matter which option you choose, our experiences tell us you’ll all have fun.

Employee Rewards for Corporate Wellness Program Participants

Parking Perks or PTO

Randomly select a participant to receive reserved parking for a week. If you don’t drive to work, a free-for-the-company benefit could be a few additional hours of PTO for either a randomly selected participant or a challenge winner.

An Office Upgrade

Some of our clients employ a “CEO for the Day” incentive, allowing winning employees to work out of the top boss’s office for a day.

Email Recognition

It’s the adult version of a gold star: Keep the company (and the executive team) updated on your participants’ successes with regular email shout-outs. Comradery and engagement will sky rocket!

Fitness Rewards


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As we’ve written in posts about habit forming, the reward for physical activity shouldn’t be cupcakes, it should be … more physical activity. (The idea is you’re supposed to reinforce your own healthy habits, not sabotage them.) Incentivize employees to get and keep moving through gym membership discounts, group fitness outings and more.plexis corporate wellness program


Complete an office Journey Challenge? Give the participant who treks the fastest a fun badge or a certificate naming them the office’s top world traveler. Keep these fun, creative and supportive.

Casual Every Days

At the end of a team challenge, invite employees to take part in casual wear on more than just Fridays. It might even encourage more hallway stepping.

A Trade-able Trophy

If you’re pitting team vs. team (a format many of our clients love), invest in a fun trophy as tangible bragging rights. At the end of every week, award it to the latest group on top — the competition will heat up in no time.

Health Care Incentives

Corporate wellness has serious ROI in terms of lower healthcare costs. Reward highly engaged employees with lower health-care premiums, or offer free-of-charge health coaching or other resources. You’ll craft a happier, healthier place to work. (Read more on the ROI of wellness programs here.)

Team Outings

dish team white water rafting

Companies who use Matchup have told us of team motivational outings to movies; there have been healthy park picnics or potlucks at work. DISH employees in Colorado have even planned group trips rafting (pictured) or running races after participating in the program.

Team Shirts

When it’s office vs. office, teams have be known to go all out with team shirts. What better way to get your opponents all riled up?! These shirts help to create a energetic and unified team.

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Networking opportunities

IBM employees (all 400,000+ of them) are aware that if they succeed at work, they could win an all-inclusive tropical vacation — with the company’s CEO, Ginni Rometty. When you work at a giant company, a chance to run elbows with and learn from the top boss can be seriously motivating (especially if you’re in a beautiful, stress-free setting).

Office Snacks

healthy snack employee rewards

Photo Credit: slism.com

Along the same lines, you can reward successfully stepping teams with healthy office snacks. Makeover the vending machine for the better, or offer free fruit in the break room on Fridays. When there’s a healthy environment from the top down, employees will take note.

Charity Giving

Winning team picks a charity of their choosing and the opponents donate! Incorporating giving is another way to take your challenges a step further and give back to your community.


Plexis Healthcare Technology in Ashland, Oregon, is seriously committed to a healthy workplace. After a recent Matchup-run stepping challenge, the company offered a seriously awesome grand prize: a trip for two to Maui! Cue serious workplace envy. Read more about their experiences here.

Get your employees active and engaged with these fun employee rewards. A healthy workplace is a happy workplace.
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