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Use of monetary incentives to promote wellness grows

BY SHRM online staff

U.S. employers increasingly rely on incentives to drive participation in health programs and to encourage employees and their families to take better care of themselves, according to survey findings from Aon Hewitt.

The HR consultancy’s 2012 Health Care Survey of nearly 2,000 U.S. employers (representing over 20 million U.S. employees and their dependents) found that 84% offered employees incentives for participating in a health risk questionnaire, and almost two-thirds (64%) offered an incentive for participation in biometric screenings.

Participation-based incentives

The use of monetary incentives to promote program participation increased dramatically over the past year. In 2012:

• 59% of employers used monetary incentives to promote participation in wellness and health improvement programs, up from 37% in 2011.

• 54% of employers used monetary incentives to promote participation in disease/condition management programs, almost triple the 17% that did so in 2011.

Outcome-based incentives

Moreover, a growing number of employers are linking incentives to a result instead of participation in a program. Of companies that offer incentives or impose consequences in 2012:

• 58% offered some form of incentive for completing lifestyle modification programs, such as quitting smoking or losing weight.

• About a quarter offer incentives for progress or attainment made toward meeting acceptable ranges for biometric measures such as blood pressure, body mass index, blood sugar and cholesterol.

“Incentives solely tied to participation tend to become entitlement programs, with employees expecting to be rewarded without any sense of accountability for better health. To truly impact employee behavior change, more organizations realize they need to closely tie rewards to outcomes and better results,” Jim Winkler, Aon Hewitt’s chief innovation officer for health and benefits, told the press.

Despite increased employer interest in tying incentives to results, the survey showed room for improvement. For instance:

• More than 80% of employers provide an incentive to complete a health questionnaire, yet less than 10% provide an incentive to address the results of the questionnaire.

• More than 60% of employers provide an incentive to complete biometric screening, but less than 10% provide an incentive to take any action.

Have HR-related questions and concerns? Get access to essential forms, policies and guides, plus a live call center, at ToolkitHR.com, powered by HCN and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

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Home Depot will phase out Hilti departments

BY Ken Clark

Tool maker and distributor Hilti will end its in-store relationship with The Home Depot, according to an article in the Tulsa (Okla.) World.

The store-within-a-store Hilti departments had been a fixture at Home Depot for about 13 years.

The Tulsa World quoted a Hilti director of communications, and reported that the Hilti ProShops will be removed over the course of the next 180 days as part of a mutual decision between the two companies.   

The world’s largest home improvement retailer will continue to sell Hilti products online. They will also be available for custom-order at the stores’ pro desks and for rental at rental desks.

Hilti headquarters are in Tulsa. 

 

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Toro elects Mosaic executive to its board

BY HBSDealer Staff

The Toro Co. has elected James “Joc” O’Rourke to its board of firectors, effective immediately. The addition of O’Rourke brings the number of board members to 10.

O’Rourke, 51, currently serves as executive VP operations and chief operating officer at The Mosaic Co., an $11 billion global producer and marketer of phosphate and potash crop nutrient for the agricultural industry based in Plymouth, Minn. O’Rourke joined Mosaic in 2009 as executive VP operations and was promoted to chief operating officer in August of this year. Throughout his career, O’Rourke has held various other senior management positions in the mining industry in Canada, Australia and Papua New Guinea, including with gold producers Barrick Gold Corp. and Placer Dome Inc.

"Joc brings significant international experience in managing operations around the world, including his current role leading all of Mosaic’s global operations," said Michael Hoffman, Toro’s chairman and CEO. "As we continue to pursue growth in irrigation and equipment markets worldwide, Joc’s leadership, experience and innovative thinking will be valuable. We are very excited to have him join our board.”

O’Rourke holds a bachelor’s degree in mining and mineral engineering from the University of British Columbia, along with a master’s degree in business administration from INSEAD in Fontainebleau, France.

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