Most of the time, especially with college students, free stuff equals increased participation.
Earlier this month, Missouri Western’s staff was able to get a free biometric screening done courtesy of Western’s Human Resources department and Aetna, the university’s health insurance provider. Aetna provides Western with a $30,000 wellness fund to provide wellness programming and events designed to increase the health of employees throughout the year.
The HR staff decided to up the ante and provide nearly $3,700 worth of giveaways and incentives to get people to participate.
It didn’t work, according to Sally Sanders, director of human resources, as the numbers actually went down from the previous year.
“Unfortunately, participation was actually down this year over last year,” Sanders said. “We really don’t know why.”
Sanders said that it may be attributable to the screening occurring earlier in the year compared to last year, but she said she wasn’t sure how much of a role that played.
Misty Miller, benefits coordinator, said that the number participating last year was 283 and that number saw a drop to 207 for this year’s screening. This translates to around 40 percent of eligible employees participating in the screening.
“It was our hope this year, with providing nicer incentives, that we would get more people out,” Sanders said. “And it didn’t happen.”
The winners of the promotional items have all picked up their prizes except one.
“I have one [promotional item] that still needs to be picked up,” Miller said. “The winner of the Kettlebell weights has not picked up their prize.”
According to Miller, Chris Godfrey, professor of physics, won the kettlebells.
Steve Saffell, assistant director and math coordinator for the Center for Academic Support, was really excited when he learned he had won the Xbox 360 with Kinnect.
“This was the first screening I had gone to,” Saffell said. “I have a girlfriend who would like to keep me around for awhile, and she was concerned about my health and well-being.”
Saffell said that when he went to claim his prize he received a receipt for the Xbox to claim at Best Buy.
“I’m more of a Playstation guy, so when I went to get the Xbox I exchanged it for money towards a PS3,” Saffell said. “With a built-in Blu-ray player, how can you go wrong?”
Saffell said that he received a clean bill of health from the screening, and was happy to report that to his girlfriend.