How does Nu Skin keep so many of its employees interested their health? By focusing on their personal income statements. Health insurance discounts go to employees who satisfactorily complete the wellness program, and a "points" scheme lets employees earn up to two extra vacation days yearly. "Incentives definitely help keep employees focused," says Hunt.

Other companies foster participation using the Internet, says Craig Froude, CEO of WellMed, a Portland, Oregon developer of online corporate wellness programs. In the past, employees were handed customized "healthy living prescriptions" but found them easy to ignore. No more. Now, employees get regular e-mails and perhaps a customized fitness Web page. "The system can reach out to touch you," says Froude. "We can cost-effectively offer personalized communication."

These tools are important, because a little encouragement can go a long way toward keeping an individual on a healthy track. "The Internet can become your personal wellness coach," says Jim Grube, CEO of Baltimore-based The Teamwork Company, an online fitness service. "We keep you focused, and, using online tools, we can also create a sense of teamwork, where you're working with others toward the same health goals. That's making the experience more fun."

Add this up and here's the big message about wellness: "Suddenly, it's undeniable that more companies are seeing health as a corporate asset," says Sean Sullivan, CEO of the Institute for Health and Productivity Management in Scottsdale, Arizona. "It's become good business to help your employees get and stay healthier."

surfing for wellness
information abounds for any organization interested in setting up wellness programs. here are a range of web sites filled with useful facts and advice.