By now, you’ve likely heard of the hype (and consequential positive results) surrounding workplace wellness programs. And perhaps you’ve even tried some of these wellness challenges in your own company.
If you’re concerned about your employees’ health and wellness, and yet you have been met with steady resistance, fitness incentive programs may be the answer you’re seeking. Fitness incentive programs are exactly what their name implies – a wellness challenge focused primarily on exercise and fitness that utilizes incentives for more positive participation and results.
We’ve given you 5 easy steps below for creating a successful fitness incentive program for your employees:
- Determine the fitness needs of your employees
Consider the overall fitness health of your employees. Are they fairly in shape, but simply need more time for continued exercise? Do they have few options available for fitness needs to be met? Or perhaps they are new to the idea of daily fitness and require a slower entry into the world of exercise. It’s important to understand the needs of your employees, and most likely you will have needs across all fitness levels and expertise. Acknowledge the specific challenges that your employees face when embarking on a fitness program.
- Provide the right equipment and tools
After determining the most important needs and challenges of your staff, meet those needs as thoroughly as possible. If you are a larger company and able to offer an on-site gym, do it! If you can’t provide a fully stocked weight and exercise room, equip a small corner office, unused closet or basement area with simple portable exercise equipment. Offer various size dumbbells, exercise balls, bands, and even jump ropes. Perhaps this isn’t an option either. No worries! Subsidize the cost of local gym memberships for employees. Even consider the hurdle of time management by offering your employees 2 to 3 hours a week to exercise during the workday. Again, use the information you’ve gained from evaluating their needs to determine the best way you can help meet those needs.
- Offer incentives that are valued
It’s just human nature – we love rewards. But not just any reward; they have to actually be valuable to us. If you’re dangling a carrot in front of your employees, make sure it’s not a rotten one. Fitness incentive programs that offer valued rewards to employees always see a greater rate of participation and consequent results. Things such as cash, gift cards, and benefit-integrated incentives (additional paid vacation time or decreased health insurance contributions) always work well.
- Set realistic goals
If you place your fitness incentive program goals too far out of reach, you will only breed discouragement and frustration. Make sure you carefully evaluate your employees’ fitness abilities and set goals appropriately. A simple way to provide goals for employees across all fitness levels, is by offering a points-based rewards system. In these fitness incentive programs, employees earn points for accomplishing different tasks, such as working out at the gym, walking during lunch, sitting on a ball for an hour while working, etc. These all add up to reach the desired incentive.
- Continually collaborate and re-evaluate
Individuals are always more likely to take ownership of something in which they have been able to provide input and feedback. Seek your employees’ advice and suggestions throughout each step of the process, from the planning to the completion. Continually evaluate current methods, goals and rewards with your employees’ perspective and make changes where necessary.
Fitness incentive programs don’t have to be dull or ineffective. There are numerous options available and qualified companies here to help you through the entire process. For more information regarding a fitness incentive program for your business, call Wellworks For You at 800.425.4657. We are experts at creating a culture of health and wellness in your company.