Did you run wellness challenges during Covid? Did you find them fun? Wellness challenges are often not welcomed by employees. This is because most wellness challenges are not well-thought-out. The majority of these challenges are boring, time-consuming, and complicated. However, this should not be the case at all. Wellness challenges should never be a burden. A well-planned wellness challenge can benefit both your organization and its employees. It can help to create a culture of wellness and growth. Read on to find out how to run a wellness challenge at work.
What is a Wellness Challenge?
A wellness challenge is a program that utilizes behavior change principles to encourage individuals to adopt and maintain healthy behaviors. Wellness challenges use competitions, progress, badges, and incentives to encourage teams to be healthy. A wellness challenge usually has a single focus. Some of the most popular topics include exercise and healthy eating.
The majority of wellness programs last between one and two weeks. Because they are short, you will find that most people won't have a problem participating. People also love these challenges if structured well because they are usually done in teams.
It's important to ensure that everyone who is part of your organization participates in your wellness challenge. This way, everyone can create healthy lifestyle habits, which will help reduce long-term health risks. However, please keep in mind that corporate-level wellness challenges are not easy to run. They require a lot of planning to be effective.
Start With Assessments
Before you can dive in and start creating a wellness program, you need to first acquire information about the health of your employees. You also need to understand what each of them is looking for. This information will be greatly useful in planning and designing your wellness challenge. With enough information, you can easily create a wellness challenge that offers the best benefits to everyone involved. You can get health information from your employees using the following ways:
Conducting a survey is one of the most effective ways to evaluate the interests and needs of your team. The information you get from the survey will give you a clear picture of the current condition and climate of the workplace. It will also show you how likely your employees are to receive the wellness challenge. If you are unsure how to conduct an employee health survey, you can visit the CDC website.
Health Risk Assessment
If you want to run an effective wellness challenge, you also need to assess the health of your staff. This will help you decide which programs you can implement without putting anyone's health at risk. You must ensure that you have legal counsel to advise you on what you can and cannot do. For instance, you might not know that your employees are not obliged to disclose any personal medical information to you unless it's work-related. Asking them for personal health details can make them feel a bit protective and uncomfortable.
Get Management's Full Backing
If you are an HR manager or leader, you must work on getting the support of your organization's management before you start planning your wellness challenge. Having the full backing of the management is essential for several reasons. For instance, you will need to create a budget that they should approve, and you must also get approval for processes essential to the challenge.
However, getting the backing of the management might not be as easy as you think. Management will be interested in one thing only. They want to know how your wellness challenge will benefit the organization to achieve its goals. This is what will justify your budget. Therefore, when you pitch your idea to the management, you need to gather facts and statistics that indicate how your challenge will help the company grow.
When you take your idea to the management, focus on answering the following questions:
- What are the benefits of the office wellness challenge, and what value will it add to your organization?
- What are your company's short and long-term goals, and how will your wellness challenge contribute to achieving these goals?
- How much will it cost to run the wellness challenge, and is the cost justified?
If you answer these questions well, you will likely get the management to support you.
Assemble a Wellness Challenge Committee
Once you have acquired the support of your organization's management, the next step should be to create a committee that will assist you in creating the wellness challenge. This committee will have several responsibilities. First, they will evaluate the current wellness status and if any efforts are being dedicated towards health and wellness. They will also help you assess the needs and wants of your employees.
The most important task of your wellness team will be to develop a wellness plan and define the goals of your wellness challenge. Lastly, they will also help you implement, monitor, and evaluate your wellness challenge. It's important to select people from various departments when creating your wellness committee. That way, you can ensure cross-sectional representation.
Set Goals and Objectives for Your Wellness Challenge
After conducting your assessments, you should use the information you obtain to set goals and objectives for the wellness challenge. For most organizations, the main aim of wellness challenges is to improve the health of employees and lower the cost of healthcare. However, these should not be the only goals. You should also consider things like increasing employee retention and productivity. A wellness challenge can also help reduce absenteeism.
You need to ensure that every goal you set is achievable. It should also be something that adds value to the employees and the organization.
Create a Budget for the Wellness Challenge
Money is a very important aspect of planning your wellness challenge. It's the one factor that can make or break your challenge. If you don't come up with a proper budget, your wellness program might flop. When creating a wellness challenge budget, you must include the cost of things like marketing, design, and incentives.
There are several ways to raise funds for your challenge. For instance, you can check if your employees are interested in paying a small fee to be part of the challenge. You can also lessen the financial burden by increasing the number of free activities, such as jogging groups and mindfulness moments.
Design the Parts of the Wellness Challenge
The different components of the wellness challenge will depend on your organization's needs. They are also determined by the resources at your disposal. You can utilize the information you obtained from your surveys and assessments. You can also use your goals, objectives, and wellness challenge budget to determine what activities and components to include. Here are some things that you can include in your challenge:
- Weight loss
- Different types of exercises
- Mindfulness and Meditation
Regardless of whatever activity you include, you need to ensure that you don't end up abusing your employees' rights.
Decide on Incentives and Rewards
Remember, there is also a competitive side to things. After all, it's a wellness challenge, so it will be good if there are winners in the end. You can sit with your team and work on some wellness challenge prize ideas.
It's a proven fact that prizes and incentives can encourage participation and willingness. You must take advantage of this by offering incentives and prizes to participants. Rewards can take several forms. For instance, you can get monetary prizes or certificates. When deciding what rewards to include, you must ensure that whatever reward you choose is proportional to the effort required to complete the task.
If you want people to willingly participate and enjoy your wellness challenge, you need to communicate properly. Communication is part of marketing your wellness challenge, and it's an effective way to get your employees excited about the challenge. So sit with your wellness challenge committee and find ways to communicate and market your challenge.
There are several ways to market any program. For instance, you can create a logo and a slogan. This will make the employee wellness challenge catchy. Apart from that, you should also communicate regularly using emails, flyers, and presentations. Repeat the message so that people don't forget about it. However, this doesn't mean that you should keep sending the exact same message repeatedly. Instead, be creative about things and find ways to keep the message fresh so you can keep everyone engaged.
The tips above will help you plan a successful wellness challenge. However, once the challenge is done, you must always remember to check out how effective it was. You should also give feedback to the management to gain ongoing support. Evaluating the effectiveness of the challenge will also help you figure out more wellness challenge ideas and whether to include, tweak, or discontinue certain activities.