Voluminous studies have been conducted about the benefits of successful employee wellness programs.

However, determining the best way to motivate employees to make a long-term commitment to wellness is not always as easy as it sounds. While some employees are eager to participate in workplace changes, wellness incentives may cause negative effects — including resulting in only short-term success, isolating workers and decreasing morale, some industry insiders say.

"The traditional worksite wellness model incentivizes people to participate in one activity — for example, filling out a health-risk assessment — but there's no incentive to continue after you've earned the initial reward," says Alan Kohll, founder and CEO of TotalWellness in Omaha, Nebraska. His company provides corporate health and wellness services, including biometric screenings, flu shots and a wellness portal.

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