When it comes to health, employees respond better to social rewards than financial incentives. Avivia has developed Yonder, a gamified wellness program solution for companies.

Gamification can encourage employees to stay in good health


Employee wellness programs grown in popularity as companies strive to bring down health care costs and improve employee productivity. But poor levels of employee engagement are resulting in limited sustained health improvements or long-term results. Wellness and Condition Management provider Avivia Health has constructed a system that goes beyond the ineffective tools that make up many of these employee programs that offer front-loaded financial incentives from the workplace. These incentives shift participation levels from 20 percent to between 50 and 90 percent, but see dramatic drop-off rates in participation. Alternatively, outcome-based rewards incentivize both participation and results, resulting in higher levels of health improvement and savings in healthcare costs.

Social rewards are more motivating than money

Avivia’s behavior change model creates an individual value system per person, and receives data from digital, online and telephonic channels. Game features include social networking, group activities, team competitions, social gaming. The model recognizes that social rewards are cheaper than money, and result in longer-lasting behavior changes. Reputation enhancement and recognition are high motivators, as are the four types of activation levels that address different parts of the health improvement process: kick starting rewards the start of a small behavioral change for emotional energy; moving forward reacts to the user’s expanding and building change into their lifestyle, keeping change alive is for successfully maintaining change, and restarting helps users recover from relapse.

And can reinvent corporate wellness programs

Avivia’s social gaming tool Yonder uses online and mobile tech and personalized experiences to make health improvements. The activation levels explained above are incorporated into this social rewards system that optimizes long-term participation at lower cost to the employer. Instead of financial incentives, employees access a full-featured online or mobile app with an avatar, profile and point system. They receive individualized tasks, share accomplishments, issue challenges to other employees, and create groups. Yonder is a productof combining research on social networking and motivation - high rates of mobile phone ownership, online social gaming and peer health information sharing. All of these trends are being leveraged to create a wellness program that can be more effective and most resource-efficient.

By Ivory King