The idiom "speak softly and carry a big stick," as President Theodore Roosevelt's foreign policy doctrine is famously known, very much applies to wellness at the workplace. And these days, the stick seems to be getting bigger.

Incentives to drive health and wellness programs continue to rise, but disincentives - while most caution against them - are the trend of the year in wellness. According to an Aon Hewitt survey, only 5% of employers currently use disincentives, but 53% say they plan to begin doing so in the next three to five years. The expressions surrounding this mentality are many - the donkey likes the carrot and hates the stick, the iron fist is always covered with a velvet glove - but what does it all mean, what works, and how will this slap-on-the-wrist tactic work out?

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