Reward Type and Performance: An Examination of Organizational Wellness Programs

39 Pages Posted: 5 May 2016 Last revised: 5 Nov 2018

See all articles by William G. Heninger

William G. Heninger

Brigham Young University - School of Accountancy

Steven D. Smith

Brigham Young University

David A. Wood

Brigham Young University - School of Accountancy

Date Written: November 5, 2018

Abstract

We examine organizational control in the context of wellness programs—organizational initiatives designed to improve the physical and mental health of employees. In a field study setting, we examine the associations of three different types of incentives (cash, gift cards, and tangible rewards) with wellness program performance. We find that employees who successfully complete program challenges are associated with greater weight loss. We also find participants choosing gift cards are associated with the greatest program success, even though cash rewards are selected more than twice as often as gift cards. Tangible rewards are the least frequently selected reward and are associated with lower performance than gift cards but relatively similar performance to cash. These results support theories of individual choice and motivation, and suggest that employees’ incentive choices are not necessarily aligned with the strongest motivational power.

Keywords: Wellness Programs, Incentives, Gift Cards, Cash Incentives, Tangible Rewards

JEL Classification: M4, M40, M41, M52, J32, J33

Suggested Citation

Heninger, William G. and Smith, Steven D. and Wood, David A., Reward Type and Performance: An Examination of Organizational Wellness Programs (November 5, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2775256 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2775256

William G. Heninger

Brigham Young University - School of Accountancy ( email )

Provo, UT 84602
United States

Steven D. Smith

Brigham Young University ( email )

531 TNRB
Provo, UT 84602
United States
801-422-1969 (Phone)

David A. Wood (Contact Author)

Brigham Young University - School of Accountancy ( email )

518 TNRB
Brigham Young University
Provo, UT 84602
United States
801-422-8642 (Phone)
801-422-0621 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://marriottschool.byu.edu/employee/employee.cfm?emp=daw44

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