Wellness challenges are undoubtedly an integral part of the modern-day corporate wellness programs. But the buzzing question is – How beneficial are these wellness challenge ideas?
Corporate wellness challenges are a great way to help your employees adopt healthy habits into their everyday routines. It is a great opportunity to incorporate healthy habits activities for people who do not find the extra time or resources to work on their health and wellness. For the employers – employee wellness challenges help in boosting employee engagement, reduce healthcare costs, and improve business ROI in the long run.
But, what makes or breaks the corporate wellness challenges?
Most employers think it is easy to design employee wellness challenges. Also, there is this myth that the program will run by itself, and their job is done after the wellness challenges have been created and assigned to the participants. But the fact is – a successful corporate wellness program and its wellness challenge ideas need a lot of prior planning.
What Makes A Successful Employee Wellness Challenge?
Simply put, Employee Wellness Challenge activities help with employee engagement and make them healthier, happier, and active. Apart from helping the employees adopt healthy behaviors for life, the right wellness challenge ideas also help in promoting workplace wellness.
And to create befitting corporate wellness challenges, you need to consider
Employee Wellness Interests
Employee health and wellness demographics play a major role in designing the right employee wellness challenges. Understanding what your employees need and what they are interested in is the key step to designing fitting wellness challenges. Your workaholic employees may need to focus on healthy eating and exercising habits as they might not find time for themselves after the long working hours. Assigning them with employee fitness challenges and healthy eating ideas can help them.
Rewards and Incentives
Rewards as a part of employee benefits and perks offered for participating or completing the wellness challenges can boost engagement and motivate them to improve their health and wellness. You can set the rewards and incentives based on the company’s budget, employee interests, and other capabilities. Be it as monetary cash prizes, eGift cards, merchandise offers, gym memberships, fitness gear, and more – the options are endless.
Check Wellness Challenge Duration
Ideally, start with the corporate wellness challenges that are of short duration. Be it for a week or a month, short-duration wellness activities tend to grab more attention and interest of the employees. Also, since the overall performance can be analyzed soon, it keeps the employees grounded and engaged.
Ensure Employee Safety
Most employee fitness challenges may require physical exertion, which could be potentially unsafe for a couple of employees. It could be riskier if they are physically inactive, are overweight, or have any health concerns that could be affected by physical exercise or activities. Make sure the employees consult a physician and get a green signal to proceed with the activities and have clarity on what kind of physical activities they can indulge in.
Tracking and Data Integration
While creating and assigning challenges could be difficult, it is even more daunting to keep an eye on the progress manually. It is practically challenging to count 10,000 steps daily. That is why your wellness program must offer a robust wellness platform that is flexible and scalable. It should offer fitness device and app integration facilities that not only allow easy data integration, but also help in tracking the progress and performance.
Seek Workforce Feedback
Seeking workforce feedback is important to know if they are satisfied with the employee wellness challenges. Hold surveys, polls, or talk to them to know their feedback and draw information about –
- Are they interested in taking the step to bring positive health and wellness changes?
- Are the wellness challenges helping them in adopting healthy behavior habits?
- What kind of rewards and incentives would keep them engaged?
- What kind of wellness challenges do they prefer?
Once you have listed all the wellness challenge ideas, it is time to get down to creating the corporate wellness challenges based on these ideas.
Workplace Wellness Challenge Ideas
Typically, most employee wellness challenges focus on improving their holistic health and wellness dimensions like – nutrition, physical activity, mental wellbeing, financial wellness, social wellbeing, and overall lifestyle habits.
By broadly classifying your workplace wellness challenge ideas into different wellness dimensions, it becomes easier for you to design and create wellness challenges based on employee health and wellness interests and requirements.
1. Healthy Eating Habits – Unhealthy eating habits are a major contributor to most health concerns like obesity, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and other chronic health conditions. By improving eating habits and making healthy choices, employees can avert many issues and stay healthy. As they complete the challenges successfully, they can earn points according to their nutritional log.
- 5 servings of fruits and vegetables- Fruits and vegetables provide the needed fiber, antioxidants, and nutrients to the body. Create challenges that require your employees to make healthy eating choices. Reward them points accordingly.
- Avoid junk and fried food
- Have a wholesome breakfast daily
- Track your calorie intake
- Have homemade meals
- Healthy office potlucks and recipe sharing
- Drink at least 8 – 10 glasses of water
2. Physical Activity – Lack of physical activity is another key contributor to many health concerns, including occupational musculoskeletal disorders, arthritis, and obesity. Create simple employee fitness challenges for everyone to participate and stay fit. Depending on the fitness quotient and employee interests, you can go on to adding high-intensity exercises. Here are a couple of ideas for employee fitness challenges, and the employees can earn rewards by reaching the set milestones.
- 10,000 steps daily challenge
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator
- Stretching at work
- 30-Minutes of physical activity every day
- 20 Squats a day challenge
- Ride the bike to home
In addition to these regular physical activity and exercise challenges, many employee wellness programs also include the trending ‘Virtual Journey’ challenges. They are physical activity based challenges that require you to cover certain distances while travelling a virtual journey of popular spots across the world.
3. Mental Wellbeing – Mental health and wellness are as important as exercise and diet are for the body. Stress and anxiety affect mental health leading to other chronic health disorders, including obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, Alzheimer’s, dementia, and depression. Giving access to mental wellness resources like health coaching, online educational resources, and self-help employee wellness challenges can help them improve their mental wellbeing. As they complete the challenges within the set time, the employees can earn rewards and stay mental healthy.
- Practice yoga and meditation
- Pick up a new hobby
- Express gratitude and positivity
- Reduce social media time
4. Lifestyle Habits – Lifestyle habits impact most of our living everyday habits. A study shows that almost 60% of our health and wellness aspects are influenced by lifestyle-related factors. Unhealthy lifestyle habits are the primary cause of many illnesses like cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes, hypertension, obesity, stress, and many other disorders. Employee wellness challenges that focus on improving overall lifestyle habits can help in boosting their holistic health and wellness.
- Better sleep
- Smoking cessation
- Responsible drinking
- Socializing at workplace
- Financial budget plans
There is a lot more you can add to the list of your corporate wellness challenges. But the essence of successful wellness challenge activities is its fun and engaging factor. Considering your employee wellness demands to come up with the wellness challenge ideas is the best way to ensure engagement and positive outcomes.
Be it either by improving employee health, reducing healthcare costs, creating a healthy workplace culture, or by enhancing productivity, the ultimate goal of your workplace wellness program is to bring in business profits that last long. And for long-term positive benefits, your employee engagement, health and wellness should be focused upon with the right corporate wellness challenges.