Cover: Evaluation of an Organisational-Level Monetary Incentive to Promote the Health and Wellbeing of Workers in Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises

Evaluation of an Organisational-Level Monetary Incentive to Promote the Health and Wellbeing of Workers in Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises

A Mixed-Methods Cluster Randomised Controlled Trial

Published in: PLOS Global Public Health, Volume 3, Issue 7 (2023). doi: 10.1371/journal.pgph.0001381

Posted on rand.org Jul 11, 2023

by Lena Al-Khudairy, Yasmin Akram, Samuel Watson, Laura Kudrna, Joanna Hofman, Madeline Nightingale, Lailah Alidu, Andrew Rudge, Clare Rawdin, Iman Ghosh, et al.

We conducted an independent evaluation on the effectiveness of an organisational-level monetary incentive to encourage small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to improve employees' health and wellbeing. This was A mixed-methods cluster randomised trial with four arms: high monetary incentive, low monetary incentive, and two no monetary incentive controls (with or without baseline measurements to examine 'reactivity' The consequence of particpant awareness of being studied, and potential impact on participant behavior effects). SMEs with 10-250 staff based in West Midlands, England were eligible. We randomly selected up to 15 employees at baseline and 11 months post-intervention. We elicited employee perceptions of employers' actions to improve health and wellbeing; and employees' self-reported health behaviours and wellbeing. We also interviewed employers and obtained qualitative data. One hundred and fifty-two SMEs were recruited. Baseline assessments were conducted in 85 SMEs in three arms, and endline assessments in 100 SMEs across all four arms. The percentage of employees perceiving "positive action" by their employer increased after intervention (5 percentage points, pp [95% Credible Interval -3, 21] and 3pp [-9, 17], in models for high and low incentive groups). Across six secondary questions about specific issues the results were strongly and consistently positive, especially for the high incentive. This was consistent with qualitative data and quantitative employer interviews. However, there was no evidence of any impact on employee health behaviour or wellbeing outcomes, nor evidence of 'reactivity'. An organisational intervention (a monetary incentive) changed employee perceptions of employer behaviour but did not translate into changes in employees' self-reports of their own health behaviours or wellbeing.

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