Employee Health Codes of Conduct: What Would They Look Like and Who Would Accept Them?

Robbins, Rebecca S. and Brian Wansink (2015), “Employee Health Codes of Conduct: What Would They Look Like and Who Wants to Accept Them?” International Journal of Workplace Health Management, 8:3, 214-229.

29 Pages Posted: 15 Mar 2015 Last revised: 28 Apr 2017

See all articles by Brian Wansink

Brian Wansink

Retired

Rebecca Robbins

New York University (NYU) - Grossman School of Medicine

Date Written: March 13, 2015

Abstract

Purpose: Most workplace health promotion efforts have failed to consistently and sustainably encourage employees to take responsibility for their health. This paper explores a potentially high impact solution – Health Codes of Conduct – for engaging and motivating employees to assume responsibility for their health.

Design: This mixed methods study draws on interview and survey methodology with a sample of 149 working adults to examine the feasibility of Health Codes of Conduct. Descriptive and inferential statistics are calculated to understand reactions, characteristics of the companies likely to support the idea, and components of a Health Code of Conduct.

Findings: All employees offered moderate to high support for Health Codes of Conduct; this included overweight but not obese employees. Additionally, all demographic groups either moderately or strongly supported the policy when they included either monetary incentives (such as prescription discounts) or often overlooked nonmonetary incentives (such as employee recognition). Some of the more popular features of Health Codes of Conduct included annual physical exams, exercise routines, and simply encouraging employees to stay home when ill.

Research implications: Health Codes of Conduct offer a surprisingly well-supported potential solution for engaging employees in wellness. Favorable reactions were observed across all examined segments of workers, including overweight (but not obese) employees. Using the specific features of Health Codes identified here, visionary companies can tailor their own company’s Health Code of Conduct with the appropriate monetary and nonmonetary incentives and disincentives.

Social implications: What if the workplace could be a positive source of health and empowerment for valued employees? We show employee Health Codes of Conduct could be this empowering, engaging solution that has been missing.

Originality: This paper is the first to propose the concept Health Codes of Conduct and solicit feedback from employees on this novel idea and show the specific features that are most attractive in such a code. Furthermore, we identify both the monetary and nonmonetary incentives and disincentives that employees believe would be most compelling.

Keywords: Workplace Health, Wellness Interventions, Health Promotion, Overweight, Obese, Employee, Monetary, Nonmonetary Incentives and Disincentives, Codes of Conduct

Suggested Citation

Wansink, Brian and Robbins, Rebecca, Employee Health Codes of Conduct: What Would They Look Like and Who Would Accept Them? (March 13, 2015). Robbins, Rebecca S. and Brian Wansink (2015), “Employee Health Codes of Conduct: What Would They Look Like and Who Wants to Accept Them?” International Journal of Workplace Health Management, 8:3, 214-229., Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2577841

Brian Wansink (Contact Author)

Retired ( email )

607-319-0123 (Phone)

Rebecca Robbins

New York University (NYU) - Grossman School of Medicine ( email )

550 First Ave.
VZ30, Office 626
New York, NY 10016
United States

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