Did you know it’s a proven fact that keeping your employees fit and strong both physically and mentally keeps them the most productive? Most employees spend nearly all of their time at work, which may cause difficulties in maintaining or building wellness habits to stay fit and healthy. A healthy workplace not only keeps the employees productive but attracts healthy candidates as well. And this ultimately leads to a healthy business. The best way to do that is by introducing an employee wellness challenge.
A workplace wellness challenge is an excellent way to encourage a healthy lifestyle amongst the employees. The main concept of workplace wellness is to create exciting wellness challenges and incentivize employees for completion so that they stick to their health and wellness goals. Just as an additional perk, employee wellness programs have become a compulsion for companies looking for workplace development. In fact, more companies are investing in employee wellness initiatives to create a healthy workplace and recruit the best talent.
Well, the term ‘wellness’ itself is a very vast topic covering everything from physical fitness and financial wellness to mental health. Perhaps, wellness challenges can also occur in various forms related to which area of health your employees need to develop and improve. Confusing, isn’t it? But do not worry, we’ve got you covered! In this article, we will provide you with all the best ideas about designing your wellness program to cover all the options. Therefore without any further delay, let’s first get started with the benefits of implementing wellness challenges at your workplace.
If properly designed and executed, wellness challenges are highly beneficial both as an individual and for the company as a whole.
Given below are some wellness challenge ideas that you can implement at your workplace and seek their benefits.
Walking challenges are one of the simplest, approachable, and very simple wellness challenges to do. Typically, this wellness challenge is the first choice of companies to kick off a health or wellness challenge in the workplace. According to research, walking is one of the most beneficial exercises for employee wellbeing. It’s just very underrated.
Walking and biking not only keep the employees in good shape and fit but are also very beneficial for the environment. Minimizing the use of private vehicles will also keep employees socializing and in action. For this wellness challenge, you can give a small incentive to the employees who walk or bike to the workplace. But, ensure that the wellness challenge that you design should work for everyone. Soon, you will see the majority of the employees walking to the workplace to get more steps for their wellness challenge, ultimately making them fit.
Drinking enough water and proper hydration is extremely important for our body, especially during the summer season. But sometimes, it’s really difficult to drink the right amount of water required by the body. As an employer, it is your duty to provide your employees with access to pure water and hosting a water-drinking challenge.
You can conduct water-drinking challenges by recommending your employees to track their water intake. You can also ask them to replace their high-calorie sugar-loaded beverages with water. Water is easily available, has absolutely zero calories, and can be the key to improving the employees’ health in many ways. Setting up a water target is not a big deal to achieve and can be easily added to your challenge list. You can also give the employees a good reusable water bottle at the beginning of the challenge so that majority of them can complete it.
Mental health and wellness have become a very crucial topic, especially in recent times. Work stress and burnout can cause unproductivity and some serious health issues for the employees. Meditation can be a great way to promote brain calmness and improve their overall health.
Multiple companies offer in-office meditation classes, silence rooms, yoga seminars, or free memberships to meditation centers. You can introduce meditation into your workspace by providing yoga classes during lunchtime or any other workable timing. There are many meditation apps that can also be used to allow employees to meditate on their own time. You can incentivize them based on either the duration or day streaks. Even a small 10 minutes session can have a worthy impact.
Movement and exercise are an integral part of a healthy lifestyle and keeping the body in action. But due to the intense stress of balancing work life with family, learning or developing new skills and hobbies, it gets difficult for the employees to hit the gym or remove some time for exercising. You must give your employee the time required to exercise by offering a more flexible routine as an employer. You can also hire a fitness coach or trainer to create workouts for the employees or provide them free passes to the nearby fitness centers.
Ask your employees to create wellness challenges or own personal goals related to flexibility, strength training, stamina improvement, cardiovascular health, centers body transformation. Challenging them to attain a fitness level and rewarding them for achieving it creates a sense of ownership. Be aware of the culture of competition and make sure that sportsmanship is spread throughout. Group up employees having the same fitness goal and invite them to encourage and challenge each other throughout their journey.
Encouraging the employees to use steps instead of just lazily using the elevator can be one of the easiest wellness challenges to implement. Of course, this does not mean that you will force an employee working on the 20th floor to use the stairs daily.
You can create a 30 days stair challenge for employees and incentivize them on completion. You can reward a free healthy meal or subscriptions to fitness apps to the employees who continue to take the stairs daily.
It is proved by science that breakfast is the most important means of the entire day as it kicks start your metabolism and helps your body perform at its best. But for most of the working people, it has become the most terrible meal of all. It is mostly fried, sugary, and loaded with carbs! From a dietary point of view, it is one of the worst ways to start off your day.
To help your employees get rid of this bad habit, including a breakfast-related task in your list of wellness challenges. It can be as simple as consuming a healthy breakfast or making your own breakfast that does not include any artificial sugar or oily food.
According to Psychology Today, having a hobby helps in reducing stress, builds social connections, and makes you more efficient at work. But due to the busy adult life of the people, they stop trying out new things. This can cause similarity and boredom in life. Therefore, if you don’t find dietary and fitness wellness challenges to match your company’s needs, encourage employees to cultivate a new or a few hobbies.
Ask employees to try out and start a hobby they always thought about. It can be anything from taking swimming classes to picking up any musical instrument. You can group the workers having similar hobbies and encourage them to challenge each other. You can incentivize the whole group by helping them to subsidize the cost. Even if a hobby isn’t continued in the longer run, trying out something new is an excellent method to break the monotony of life.
Personal finance is the number one reason that causes stress to the employees. Financial stress not only causes a negative impact on the employees but also affects their productivity and well-being. But here, the most challenging part of this is to introduce financial wellness as a ‘challenge.’ Since finance itself is a susceptible topic, people don’t feel comfortable even sharing it with their colleagues. Hence, financial education is the best way to incorporate financial wellness into a challenge.
Provide the employees with resources that they need to make sure that their financial wellness is at its peak and stress is minimal. Resources here can include access to investment courses, financial planners, meetings and webinars with financial advisers, or saving plans with bonuses. You can also encourage the employees to create their own financial goals and reward them for their progress. Or simply ask your employees to track their spendings closely, which can help cut out unnecessary waste and raise their financial wellness.
Almost all the companies dedicate all their focus to physical wellness but forget an important rest component that is sleep. Without proper sleep, the body would not benefit much from all the hard work the employee puts in. A study conducted by Harvard University states, “in the short term, a lack of adequate sleep can affect judgment, mood, ability to learn and retain information, and may increase the risk of serious accidents and injury. In the long term, chronic sleep deprivation may lead to a host of health problems including obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and even early mortality.”
Sleep plays a vital role in shaping up an individual’s physical and mental wellness, making it one of the most crucial wellness tasks. Work and life responsibilities directly impact our quality and quantity of sleep. According to a report by the CDC newsroom, 1 out of every 3 U.S adults faces a lack of sleep. You will need to educate your employees about the importance of sleep by sharing videos, articles or conducting seminars/webinars.
To challenge the employees to have an adequate amount of sleep, you can provide them access to sleep tracking apps. Create a sleep milestone goal, for instance, 7 hours of night sleep straight for a month. The employees who complete the wellness challenge can be rewarded with sleep-related prizes like mattresses, pillows, night suits, or furniture.
Being optimistic not only develops an individual but also helps the surroundings to benefit from it as well. Nothing else can improve wellness more than being nice to others and others being nice to you in return. According to Forbes, “grateful people experience fewer aches and pains, and they report feeling healthier than other people.”
Being positive can mean in many different forms, and all of them should be accepted in your challenge. Challenge employees to write down any one thing every day which they are thankful for. This can include anything from simply complementing any colleague or helping someone. Allow them to keep this wellness challenge private. You can reward the consistent employees with some gratitude of your own. For instance, if the employees constantly track their gratitudes for a month, you can offer them a paid day off called “gratitude day.”
Today, most people are aware of the health problems and risks that are associated with smoking. Being one of the most addictive things in the world, smoking is very difficult to quit. According to the CDC, nearly 70% of smokers in the U.S want to quit smoking. You can help those employees who wish to quit smoking with a challenge. Perhaps, this will be one of the toughest challenges, therefore, providing the employees with milestone rewards.
Reward the employees who make it up to one month, two months, six months, and one year without even touching a cigarette with increasingly large rewards for every milestone. You can also provide them with resources like medication if required by them.
We have already covered the topic of sleep and how important it is for our health and wellbeing. Since various activities throughout the day can influence sleep quality, sleep challenges can cover multiple topics even beyond just sleep. We know the importance of the quantity of sleep, but it’s also vital to prepare your body for sleep. Activities like breaking contact with all of the screen gadgets an hour before going to bed are some of the best ways to prepare your body for quality sleep.
Depriving yourself of the virtual screens makes it easier for you to fall asleep and helps in relaxing your eyes and mind. This time can be used constructively to complete some other challenges like meditation or reading. You can reward the employees with some good books or extra holidays for completing this challenge.
The inclusion of a reading session in the wellness challenges is one of the most leisurely activities of all. Perhaps most people do read but not anything that is not related to work. Only very few people read for fun. This turns reading into a course rather than an enjoyable hobby. For this challenge, encourage your employees to read books for their amusement.
You can set a target of 30 minutes of reading each day to achieve the decided reward. Do not count the time if the employee reads any books or articles that have carrier implications. The books can be fiction best-sellers or non-fiction books related to any topic. Whatever it is, the objective of adding reading to your challenge will help in realizing the significance of fun reading.
NOTE: Challenges may vary from company to company, depending on their missions and objectives. Moreover, each employee may have a unique personal goal as well. Therefore, do not cover all the topics at once. Breakout the diverse topics into challenges and let the employees get accustomed to them. This will prevent them from being overwhelmed. Also, focus on creating a culture of health and not competition.
Wellness challenges are an excellent way to make the best use of your employees’ true potential and help them achieve significant changes by offering the right opportunity and motivation. This contributes to a more positive and productive workplace environment.
Challenging employees to improve their health and happiness and foster relationships with their colleagues while reaping the benefits is the ultimate goal of these wellness challenges. In the end, it’s a win-win for everyone. Hope this article helped you in understanding everything about the employee wellness challenge!
Given below are some wellness challenge ideas that you can implement at your workplace and seek their benefits.
Exercise Or Proper Workout
Movement and exercise are an integral part of a healthy lifestyle and keeping the body in action. You must give your employee the time required to exercise by offering a more flexible routine as an employer. You can also hire a fitness coach or trainer to create workouts for the employees or provide them free passes to the nearby fitness centers.