According to recent research from the National Business Group on Health and Fidelity, 84% of employers plan to continue or expand their employee wellness programs in the next three to five years. And employers are seeking creative and effective strategies to proactively engage employees in these programs. Here are nine unique ways to encourage employees to get healthy from HealthFitness’ Ann Wyatt.
“We work with one financial services company using a bingo-style program to jumpstart participation in well-being activities,” says Wyatt, vice president at HealthFitness, a provider of health management, corporate fitness and condition management solutions. “In this six-week program, we ask participants to complete tasks on their bingo card designed to boost their well-being — such as limiting screen time, taking stretch breaks and walking more.”
Host a combine.
One leading insurance company uses a quarterly athletic combine — similar to the NFL — where members can participate in a shuttle run, push-ups, broad jump and vertical jump. Participants with the top scores earn personal training sessions.
Create a flash mob.
At one large insurance company, staff taught a flash mob dance to 30 employees. They practiced in secret to perfect the dance moves before surprising employees with a flash mob performance at company headquarters — even the CEO joined in the dance.
Ride a bike.
Participants at one university enjoy a bike share program, team biking initiatives and a bicycle commuting group.
Dig in to wellness.
“We helped an electronics corporation client of ours plant a small garden that serves as a way for the team to log off, unplug and step into a change of scenery, literally, for a workday break,” says Wyatt.
Take a hike at work.
Walking trails give employees the opportunity to exercise at work.
Save time and calm your mind.
Often times, employees don’t have time to participate in a full-length fitness class. So why not offer employees a 15-minute relaxation and meditation class where they're not required to change their clothes?
Host at-desk workouts.
“We use 15-minute stretch/energy breaks in conference rooms with one biotech company client of ours to help employees learn workouts to do at their desks,” says Wyatt. “At the end of the training session, employees receive their own stretch band along with laminated cards and handouts featuring the desk exercises.”
Use bathroom talk.
In industries where access to computers is an issue, why not promote wellness programs where employees have few distractions — in the bathroom! Consider using one-page documents featuring health tips and post them on bathroom stall doors to inspire and engage