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Dunder Mifflin Wellness Incentives

January 12, 2010


So why is Dwight completely overhauling the office vending machine with fruit? In this episode of The Office, the Scranton branch of Dunder Mifflin is in a weight loss competition with another branch. The entire staff is weighed together and by the end of the designated time period, the branch with the most weight lost wins extra vacation time.

Pretty cool wellness incentive right?

Not exactly. The employees start practicing extremely unhealthy weight loss habits in an effort to just win. Ultimately, through starving themselves and taking other extreme measures, they are in fact doing more detriment to their health than good, completely reversing the intended goal by Dunder Mifflin’s higher ups. So what could’ve been done differently?

The program focused on short term results instead of longterm wellness benefits. The management focused on the result (weight loss) and didn’t put emphasis on the behavior that led to the result (exercise, healther living etc). In this article on BNET, they give an example of a company providing points based incentives based on time spent exercising. For every half hour spent doing certain activities, employees earned 10 points. The points could later be redeememed for prizes. Through this program, the management focused on behavior that would ultimately lend itself to weight loss and an overall healthier lifestyle for its employees.

Incentives, wellness or otherwise, should  be focused on modifying behavior. Wouldn’t you agree?


One Comment leave one →
  1. June 17, 2010 5:57 am

    Thank you for writing this it was essential for a paper I am now writing for my finals. Thanks

    Discount Gucci

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