With packed schedules and back to back meetings as the daily norm, it is easy to allow our own health and fitness to be pushed to the back burner. It is important to remember, however, that there are many benefits to both the individual and the worksite when employees stay healthy and fit. With the nice weather upon us, May is the perfect time to provide employees with the motivation they need to kick start their fitness routine.
Worksite wellness programs lower overall costs by keeping employees healthy and productive. They promote a positive relationship between the employer and the employee and give organizations an edge over other prospective employers.
Here are seven points to consider when implementing successful worksite wellness initiative:
1. Have fun with it: Trudging to the gym at the end of a long workday may not sound appealing to employees, and any excuse will be a good one to skip it. Organizing pickup sports games or fitness classes can be much more fun. Employees will look forward to participating, rather than dread their workout.
2. Support local causes and initiatives: Training as a group to walk or run in a local event can provide employees with the inspiration and the motivation they need to begin their fitness routine.
3. Incorporate friendly competition: Everyone has a competitive streak! Having departments or groups compete against one another is a great way to engage employees in fitness initiatives. A little friendly, fun competition will encourage employees to push themselves to achieve their fitness goals.
4. Provide Incentives: Offering prizes or insurance discounts encourage employees to stick with their fitness goals. It is common for individuals to start strong and then burn out. Offer regular classes and reminders about the incentives available to employees engaging in regular healthy behaviors to keep them motivated.
5. Leverage the support of upper management: Having upper management support and encourage these initiatives will get the whole staff participating in them. Staff will be more likely to participate if they believe they will be recognized for their involvement. Upper management has the ability to make these fitness efforts organization wide initiatives.
6. Set a good example: Employers should set a good example at meetings and luncheons by serving foods that follow the healthy meeting guidelines. Whenever possible, walking during lunch breaks and “walk and talk” meetings should be encouraged.
7. Promote the success stories: When employees hear that their colleagues are achieving their goals and feeling good about themselves, this will encourage others to do the same. Send out emails or put up flyers in the break room featuring success stories from employees who have successfully achieved their fitness goals or attended a workshop or fitness class they really enjoyed.