The Ultimate Guide to Incentives for Employee Wellness Programs

The Ultimate Guide to Incentives for Employee Wellness Programs

Your company’s competitive edge will always be your workforce. They are the heart of the company and help to make your well oiled machine work seamlessly. That’s why it’s important to make sure you’re taking care of your employees and making their health a priority. Corporate wellness initiatives do just that. They help to lower health costs, improve upon culture, encourage engagement, and build a happier, healthier and more productive workforce. Rewarding them for their efforts is key to a successful program. Cash may be easy, but taking that extra step in rewarding them will go a long way. You may lack the budget or resources, but if you get creative and innovative you won’t need any of that! We’ve compiled a list of the top ways to incentivize your employees, no matter the size, budget or culture.

Top Incentives For Your Employee Wellness Programs

Create a Wall of fame

Post photos of your winners on a challenge wall of fame! They’ll be happy to see their accomplishment up on the wall and it motivates your employees to do their best to make it up there.

Fun Awards

Showing staff appreciation with employee rewards can mean a lot. It allows them to realise that their work is being valued. This therefore increases productivity and staff morale. Complete an office Journey Challenge or have your team reach a weight goal? Reward your employees with fun and creative certificates, like “Most Improved Mover” or “Will Walk for Cheese”, whatever seems fitting!

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 or newsletter shout-outs. Camaraderie and engagement will sky rocket!

A Trade-able Trophy

business man holding trophy reward Invest in a fun trophy to award it to the team on top for that month. When it’s team vs. team the competition will heat up quickly.

Group Fitness Class

Invite the team to a group yoga, cycling or kayaking class. You’re rewarding them for healthy behaviors, while encouraging them to keep moving.

Team Outings

A movie, healthy picnic or even white water rafting are great team outings to reward your employees. It encourages both physical activity and engagement between the team- creating a better culture.

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.

Gym Membership Discounts

Offer discounts to those participating in the corporate wellness program. This gives them a physical location other than their home to fit in movement and opens up the door to classes and trainers.

An Office Upgrade

Give one of your employees the chance to live like the “CEO for the Day” which allows the winning employees to work out of the top boss’s office for a day.

Casual 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 or outdoor walking breaks.

Team Shirts

When you’re pitted team vs. team, shirts are a great reward. Helping to motivate the troops and evoke a little bit of friendly smack talk! Ps. Our clients love this.


Everyone loves a party so why not throw one for all the major holidays? If you’re struggling to find a location for it then check out companies like Peerspace who provide plenty of venues.

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Networking opportunities

Help your employees expand their network by paying for the networking events they may be interested in attending. This not only helps your business by expanding their reach, but helps them to expand their minds and learn new things from industry professionals.

Invest in additional learning

Your employees are your competitive advantage in the marketplace. Why not make them stronger through additional learning? Choose a course and make the investment.

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.

Office Snacks

office snacks employee wellness programs Along the same lines, you can reward successfully stepping teams with healthy snacks for the office. Makeover the vending machine for the better, or offer free fruit in the break room.

Office massages

Has the office been working really hard to hit their goals? Reward them with their own professional masseuse. It’ll help to relieve stress and improve the atmosphere in the office.

Standing desk

Investing in a standing desk is a must. Employees can take turns using it.

Blue Apron

Abs are made in the kitchen. Reward an employee with a Blue Apron meal for healthy eating outside the office.


Schedule a themed potluck for your employees and take a longer lunch that day. Rewarding them with delicious food and some time to socialize.


These may be a little on the pricier side, but if an employee is going well above their duties it’s important to recognize them. Plaques are a great keepsake that will always remind them of their hard work.

Car wash

Your car needs some TLC too. Hand out free car wash tokens for incentives.

Summer Intramural League

Have the company expense a chance for your employees to play in a softball league over the summer. Encouraging team building and a strong camaraderie. men cheering sports game

Sporting event tickets

Instead of taking your clients out to the ball game. Send your employees to the game to have a little much needed fun!

Movie tickets

Head to the movie theater and grab some popcorn with the team to view a new movie! You can even bring a projector to the office to stream a flick at work!

Cater breakfast, lunch or dinner

Bagels & coffee, salads or even a taco dinner. A full belly yields a happy heart.

Edible arrangements

These treats are absolutely delicious. Surprise the office with a few for their hard work or a team challenge win.

Cooking Lessons

There are so many options to choose from when it comes to cooking lessons. From dinner to desserts the possibilities are endless.

Dinner on the boss

Take the team out to dinner on the boss’ dime. It shows his appreciation for everything they do and is a great outing to get everyone together in a fun environment.

Meal delivery for a week

Deliver healthy meals for lunch to the challenge winner or most improved participant. There are so many meal delivery services out there, try Factor 75 for healthy affordable meals.

Friday Happy Hour

Invite all the teams to join in on a fun afternoon filled with drinks and snacks. You can even give it a theme- margaritas and chips, anyone?

Scratch offs

Spice up your rewards with some scratch offs. You never know if you’ll win or lose but that’s the fun of it!

Play with puppies

black dog work office Nothing boosts energy like a playpen full of puppies. Bring them in for a couple of hours and bring huge smiles to all of their faces. First, make sure none of your workforce is allergic!

Parking Perks

Perfect for winter, reward one of your employees with parking privileges. Let them park in the CEO or one of the top exec’s spot for the day or week. This incentive has been around forever, and it’s a proven winner!


A free-for-the-company benefit could be a few additional hours of paid time off for either a randomly selected participant or the challenge winner.


Now this one is for those with a large budget. Reward your most successful healthily changed employees on a getaway somewhere outside your office location.

Company swag

Last but not least give away your company branded T-shirts, water bottles or shorts. They’ll be able to rep their team spirit anywhere! What are some of your favorite incentives for your employee wellness programs?

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