Incentives and Employer Communications Get Workers into Health Assessments

November 24, 2008 ( - A new study published in an academic journal asserted that the strongest predictors of employee health risk assessment completion are "the monetary value of incentives" and the employers' level of "communication and organizational commitment."

A news release said the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine study examined factors that influence workers to take part in the assessments and includes data from 124 employers in a variety of industries with 882,275 eligible employees who completed 344,825 health and productivity assessments.

“The results show that a healthy corporate culture with good communications, employee involvement and leadership support, a concept we refer to as Com/Org, is essential if employers want to achieve high participation rates in their programs,” said Michael S. Taitel, vice president of the AlereCenter for Health Intelligence and lead author of the study, in the news release. “Interestingly, the type of incentive did not predict HRA participation rates. What this means for employers is that the type of incentive employers choose may not matter as much as the value of the incentive. This will allow employers to be more creative in designing and tailoring incentives to their populations because they will have a wide range of options.”

Com/Org (Communications & Organizational Commitment) is a metric created by the research team to represent the employer characteristics supporting their health promotion programs. This includes communications, the level of employee involvement through committees and internal champions, and visible executive management leadership support through advocacy, program participation and allocation of resources, the announcement said.

The study is available by e-mail at or by calling (866) 500-4580.