Ditch your incentive-based wellness program

USPI moves towards an intrinsic-based program and increases engagement.

As the largest ambulatory surgery provider in the U.S., United Surgical Partners International (USPI) is an industry leader in developing and operating short-stay ambulatory facilities and strategic solutions for surgical networks. USPI owns and operates 200+ facilities nationwide and employs more than 11,000 physicians and healthcare workers. Through their extensive networks and partnerships, the company influences the healthcare of more than 1 million patients a year.

Since 2014, USPI has partnered with Aduro to provide a wellness solution for its employees through the HealthyEDGE Program. Every year, the program adopts a new theme to help drive program engagement, which in 2017 was 85 percent! This year’s theme was Build Your Best Self and with it, USPI’s employees have fully embraced the Human Performance approach.

In 2017, the HealthyEDGE Program adopted Human Performance, adding on 11 new guided paths with topics such as Think Green and Step Up and Lead.  Most importantly, HealthyEDGE added Roadmap to Success as a new requirement to the program. This proved to be a substantial driver, increasing engagement from the previous year, and a big step toward a more intrinsic program. Of the 8,700 participants that have registered for HealthyEDGE, 50 percent have engaged in a Human Performance path. In terms of engagement within a well-being program, 50 percent is huge! Our friends at HERO have identified a standard targeting coaching engagement for “high engagement” programs, or programs with a participation rate greater than 39 percent. Typically, engagement for such programs is only 11 percent of active users.

We believe that intrinsic motivation brought out by the Roadmap to Success is a big driver of increased engagement in Human Performance paths, and furthermore, increased the amount of individual habit-based goals created and accomplished. In 2017, there were 12,500 unique goals tracked. Of those goals created, 17 percent were accomplished, which is 14 percent higher than the industry standard!


Intrinsic motivation is defined as performing an action or behavior because there is enjoyment, curiosity, or passion within the activity itself. Whereas acting on extrinsic motivation is done for the sake of some external outcome such as promotions, bonuses, and benefits. Interested in learning more? Check out this post to dive deeper into intrinsic motivation and learn how it can positively affect your company’s wellness solution.


With the guidance of their Aduro account manager, USPI has been adjusting their incentives each year to gradually move from a mostly extrinsic-based reward model to a more intrinsic-based one. In 2016, there were three incentive levels, with the highest reward only gained when a participant reaches completes enough activities to attain that level. In 2017, the program shifted to the highest reward living at the second level. If extrinsic motivation was the only thing driving engagement in the program, you would expect that participation in that final third level would drop off, but the opposite is true. In 2017, participants who achieved that third level increased by 44 percent. Why?!


We believe there are two major components to this program’s success: Roadmap to Success and Ambassadors.

The new program requirement, Roadmap to Success, has not only increased the number of goals individuals report in the program, but it has also inspired participants to engage in a coaching path (self-guided or individual-based telephonic coaching). Eighty-three percent of registered participants signed up and completed their Roadmap to Success. Even more surprising, more than 50 percent of participants are reporting a focus on something other than Health & Fitness. Aduro’s offering of paths that are concentrated on the other three areas of Human Performance — Money & Prosperity, Contribution & Sustainability and Growth & Development, have given participants the opportunity to complete paths and activities that relate to topics they actually care about.

The second big driver of the HealthyEDGE’s success is Ambassadors – individuals at each location within the company act as well-being ambassadors and help build the culture of well-being throughout the organization. These champions have monthly check-ins with one of our Certified Intrinsic Coaches®. Coaches deliver a presentation that is geared toward that month’s Hot Topic – a 30-minute webinar, and provide a printable take-away to deliver back to their cohorts.


We have taken the successes of our clients and the findings of our research to develop a workbook to help you on your journey to improve your organization’s Human Performance.

  • A simple assessment of where your organization currently stands
  • Steps you can take to create an intrinsic-based program
  • Guidelines to create your own Ambassador team

Ready to make the shift in your organization? Learn more about how Aduro’s holistic well-being strategy can support your employees.