Appetites for Carrots and Sticks Shift with Wellness Perks

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Workplace wellness initiatives continue making headway into employee perks with one important goal: influencing behavior change and improving employee health.

A step competition may aim to motivate employees to adopt a more active lifestyle while a weight-loss program could push employees to be more conscientious of their diet.

But when it comes to influencing long-term behavior, the popular carrot-and-stick model, which relies on extrinsic motivation like rewards and punishment to influence people, isn’t necessarily the most effective.

“We’re not opposed to carrots or sticks when they are used appropriately,” said Howard Kraft, Mercer’s total health management specialty practice leader in

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