What an iPhone App Can Teach Us About Wellness Incentives


For those of you who may be a little app nerdy like myself, there's yet another app on the horizon...but it's not what you think.

Wellness incentives are sometimes a touchy subject. Employee wellness is a contributing factor to productivity and engagement in an office. We've talked about wellness incentives before in this post taking a look into how Dunder Mifflin tried a wellness incentive program based on weight loss. The main problem with Dunder Mifflin's incentive was that it rewarded an overall result: weight loss. They wanted their employees to achieve healthy lifestyles in the process. However, what they didn't anticipate was the dangerous steps employees were taking just to win. The failure was a result of the company's failure to reward healthy behaviors. 

GE's new mobile app has changed the thinking in this regard. Their new wellness application - Morsel - applies this behavior modification process in a new and fun way. Everyday the company sends a little "morsel" to each user. These morsels are small little tips to lead a healthier life. They offer small challenges like "don't put any extra salt on what you eat today." GE describes their new app in this way:

“With health and wellness, a little can go a long way. With this in mind, we’ve developed Morsel, a mobile application that helps people get a little bit healthier, every day. By suggesting simple, daily tasks that anyone can do, Morsel empowers you to take control of your well-being, one step at a time. With fun, achievable goals, Morsel makes a healthier lifestyle accessible to everyone.”

Small goals over time do much in modifying behaviors to achieve specific results. Incentive programs - more specifically wellness incentive programs - will ultimately fail if they only focus on the end results. 

What do you think?