It comes as no surprise that most employers strive to create a happy, healthy, and productive workforce. In corporate environments that involve a lot of sedentary activity for upwards of eight hours a day, companies often choose to invest in workplace fitness incentives. To encourage employees to move and put energy towards their personal wellness goals, some employers offer various rewards and prizes for participating employees.
Although employees may not be taking advantage of these programs because of their busy schedules, a large number of companies still offer a variety of programs. According to a 2017 survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation, 85% of large employers who offer health insurance also include a health wellness program. These programs are typically designed to help employees quit smoking, lose weight, and improve their diet and fitness. The incentives for these programs include gift cards, fitness trackers, or other merchandise.
Employees who are offered company time to complete their personal and collective wellness objectives are much more likely to participate. According to Forbes, there’s a variety of ways to implement wellness and fitness programs into the day-to-day of an employee’s schedule.
A few examples might include the following:
Offer employees 30 minutes of their workday to spend at the local gym.
Encourage employees to take a few walk breaks throughout the day with the hopes of enhancing productivity and motivation.
Provide healthy snacks to employees. Having a well-stocked pantry can be very helpful in encouraging employees to snack on fresh fruits and veggies and healthy granola bars.
Start the workday with a five-minute guided meditation or journaling session. It will help align your team on the day’s priorities and make sure everyone is focused.
Create wellness challenges that encourage employees to work together to achieve their health and fitness goals.
Allow employees time off to volunteer in their communities or participate in wellness-related activities.
What doesn’t work?
Running a wellness or fitness program can prove costly for the employer. Workplace fitness programs are intended to be voluntary, however, many employees often find themselves forced or peer-pressured into participation due to high financial incentives and rewards.
For employees who may suffer from chronic conditions, fitness programs may not be inclusive enough to cater to their needs. It’s important to seek programs that are all-inclusive and take into account the unique and specific abilities of all employees.
Send out a monthly wellness newsletter that discusses current incentives and company-wide challenges.
Host wellness days and keep company wellness initiatives at the forefront of your team’s mind.
Incorporate fitness trackers into the wellness incentives. By offering these trackers as an incentive, it makes everyone’s job a little bit easier—and hopefully, a little more fun.
In the never-ending quest to achieve a work-life balance and promote wellness, workplace fitness programs often walk a fine line in creating an effective program that still honors the privacy and unique challenges of each employee. Being mindful of your employees’ individual needs is a crucial first step to achieving an all-inclusive fitness program that’s both effective and enjoyable.
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