Involuntary Wellness Programs: The Case of a Large US Company

Davide Secchi, Hong Bui, Katie Gamroth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (SciVal)


Purpose — This study investigates the recent health care reform in the US, which allows insurance companies to proactively intervene in improving long-term health of employees by providing wellness programs as part of the benefits package for employees.
Design/methodology/approach — We present and analyze data on how employees of a large US Midwest “media and education” company (N = 154) perceive economic incentives towards wellbeing. Data are collected using survey methods and analyzed with a logistic regression.
Findings — This study suggests that fairness, accessibility, intention to switch to a healthier lifestyle, and desire to see more health-related initiatives affect the way employees seek to participate in the new involuntary wellness programs. In contrast, satisfaction, participation, and income do not affect how these new programs are perceived.
Research limitations/implications — These findings imply that HR managers should pay attention to employees who are not active in existing wellness programs, and ensure to provide support during the transition toward the new involuntary programs to avoid potential frustration, de-motivation, disengagement, and ultimately, decreasing performance.
Originality/value — The study is amongst the first to analyze involuntary wellness programs in the US and it provides a basis on which to expand further studies. This research contributes to support the idea that employee wellness is unlikely to be enforced by rule or policy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2-24
JournalEvidence-based HRM
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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