HR Strange But True!
January 12, 2012

“Lose weight” tends to be a popular resolution for Americans entering a new year, but one Philadelphia-based company is taking bold strides to encourage employees to stay healthy in 2012.

When NewAge Industries, Inc., CEO Ken Baker heard that his New England Distributor was trying to lose 40 pounds, Baker thought he would give him some incentive.

Mike Allard, who allegedly loves to gamble, agreed to his employer’s proposition: if he were to lose 40 pounds in two months, Baker would wear a shirt declaring Allard “The Man,” but if he should fail, Baker would wear a shirt declaring that Allard is not “The Man.” Allard won the bet, and Baker promised that if he keeps the weight off until April 13, 2012, he’ll even give him a cash reward.

NewAge Industries has spread the incentive to stay healthy companywide. In 2011 Baker held the “Ten Million Steps Challenge,” wherein each employee received a pedometer to count steps for a month. When the company reached 10 million steps, Baker made a donation to a charity for health research.

In light of the New Year, the company will be introducing even more health-based opportunities, such as a healthy-chili cooking competition, a “Biggest Loser” contest for employees seeking to lose weight, and before-work “boot camp” workout sessions.

Editor’s note: Employers looking to establish or improve a company wellness program should review the legal issues related to workplace wellness programs.



What's the strangest incentive you have ever heard of? Did it work?

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