Employee fitness equals free money for your company.
Sounds crazy, but it’s true.
Organizations that invest in health and wellness actually save money by reducing healthcare costs and curbing lost productivity due to absenteeism. An office wellness challenge can get your team working towards their fitness goals together and build camaraderie along the way!
The Harvard Business Review found that employers who invested in comprehensive health and wellness initiatives saw a nearly 3-to-1 return in money saved. A more focused study demonstrated that ROI was closer to 6-to-1.
That’s some serious ROI.
Fitness challenges can be a great way to get your employees excited about wellness. In fact, an office fitness challenge can be the cornerstone of a comprehensive wellness program – but only if it’s done right.
You see, it’s not as easy as sending a mass email about an upcoming 5k and calling it a day. Fitness challenges have to be engaging. The last thing you want is to invest your time, money, and energy in a fitness challenge that gets zero participation.
Tip: You can use a team wellness challenge app to track your entire fitness challenge from start to finish. With a tool like YuMuuv — employees can record their progress using their smart phone.
Choose from a large library of office fitness challenge ideas that include tracking steps, running, exercise time, yoga, water drinking, cycling, and more.
👉 Try YuMuuv to learn more.
So stick with us. We’ll help you design a fitness challenge that your employees will rave about.
And since budget is always a factor, all the tactical advice we provide is budget-friendly. Here’s how to create a killer fitness challenge, whether you’ve got an Amazonian budget…or something a bit more modest.
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Tip 1: Do Not Rely on a One-Size-Fits-All Solution
Just as you can’t mandate participation, you can’t rely on a one-size-fits-all all approach.
Think about it – your employees are diverse! You likely have employees of varying ages, fitness levels, and physical abilities, so you’ll need to bake in some flexibility as you design your challenge.
Take us for example. At SnackNation, we have team members who regularly compete in Ironman Competitions. We also have employees who haven’t stepped foot in a gym in years (and the thought of doing so scares me a little… I mean them. Scares them a little).
Keep in mind, that the point isn’t to cater to those you are already active. It’s much more important to motivate those for whom fitness isn’t all that high on their priority list. That’s where your plan will have the biggest impact.
Action Step: Create Options
Employee wellbeing shouldn’t be limited to just physical activity. Bonusly allows its members to create fully customizable challenges with topics that are relevant to their personal interests/needs – popular themes include optimal nutrition, stress reduction, weight management, financial wellbeing, resilience, sleep improvement, safety, tobacco cessation, and social causes… but the possibilities are endless!
Tip 2: Gamify
Gamification involves introducing elements of gameplay into your employee wellness challenge. Most commonly, this means creating badges or rewards that team members unlock by hitting milestones.
Game mechanics are highly motivating. They play on our psychological need for status and achievement. You’ll find that gamification is a great way to unlock the spirit of friendly competition and increase participation company-wide.
Action Step: Get Creative With It!
Whether you want to go with tried and true favorites that are easier to get buy-in for (ie: “Most Steps Wins”) there are a ton of fun and creative ideas available for your team to implement to gamify your office fitness challenge.
The team at Motivosity uses their company-wide web interface to track their fitness challenge milestones so employees can see their peers’ progress. This way, healthy competition is encouraged throughout the length of the challenge rather than at just the beginning. They also set up the game mechanics so instead of rewarding the winning team with a one-size-fits-all award, they offer a variety of unique and easy-to-redeem rewards through the Motivosity platform.
People these days have short attention spans and appreciate variety, so consistent innovation is key if you want your programs to stay fresh and engaging.
Tip 3: Set a BHAG
If you speak jargon, you might know that the acronym BHAG stands for Big Hairy Audacious Goal. It’s usually used to describe a company’s big business or philanthropic goals, but the term is just as relevant for your workplace fitness challenge.
By definition, a BHAG is a stretch goal. It’s something that’s beyond your team’s current capabilities and that will require them to grow as individuals and break through their perceived limitations.
The best way to do this shoot is for something a little daunting, something just beyond what they think they’re capable of reaching.
Action Step: Make Your BHAG Tangible
When we launched a company-wide fitness challenge at SnackNation, our BHAG was walking from San Francisco to LA in a month (virtually of course). This was our big, motivating group challenge.
We deliberately chose a goal that team members could visualize, rather than an abstract goal like “walk 400 miles.”
Tip 4: Incentivize Participation
Let’s be honest, getting people to participate in a workplace wellness challenge is like wrestling an alligator at midnight – the odds are stacked against you. Gallup found that only 24% of employees typically participate in wellness initiatives.
New research shows that employees are 33 times more likely to get involved when there are financial incentives. Nectar’s employee recognition and rewards platform allows companies to create wellness challenges that are tied to rewards like gift cards or company swag. This automates the process of creating, promoting and incentivizing wellness challenges.
Action step: Offer non-cash incentives
Studies have found that non-cash incentives like gift cards significantly increase wellness challenge participation rates. Take advantage of a tool like Nectar to simplify the delivery of these rewards, regardless of where your employees are participating.
Tip 5: Track Your Progress
If you’re going to shoot for a goal, you’re going to need a way to measure your progress on your way there.
At SnackNation, we provided Jawbone fitness trackers to track our steps. This was hugely popular and provided an easy way to accurately record progress towards our BHAG. (You can often negotiate bulk deals on fitness trackers for your company.)
Haslett Express, a logistics company in Chicago, held a similar walking challenge. (In fact, ours was modeled after their “Walk from Chicago to LA” challenge!)
Instead of fitness trackers, they had their in-house development team create a custom portal where employees could enter any type of physical activity (whether it be swimming, biking, or yoga) and it would convert it into the equivalent number of steps.
Of course, if supplying fitness trackers to your entire team isn’t realistic, track progress in a shared Excel document. It doesn’t have to be high-tech! It just has to be readily accessible to your entire team. (Try one of these templates).
Action Step: Create a Leaderboard
Use a rolling whiteboard or a digital fitness challenge leaderboard – or better yet, convert a wall in your office into a whiteboard with whiteboard paint – to display group progress and individual challenge leaders. The daily reminders will continually motivate your team to compete.
Tip 6: Take a Grassroots Approach
Yes, buy-in from executive leadership is a must, but you can’t take a top-down approach to fitness challenges. A mandated wellness program simply won’t work.Mandated wellness programs simply don’t work. Click To Tweet
A grassroots approach works best. In practical terms, this means your fitness challenge must be employee-led.
It all starts with listening. Find activities that the majority of your team already enjoy, or are interested in trying out.
This might be something as challenging as a marathon, or it might be something as simple as yoga or Pilates. It might even be something exotic like rock climbing or surfing. (Side note, climbing is all the rage at SnackNation these days.) You won’t know until you ask.
Action Step: Create an Employee Fitness Panel
Create a panel of employee leaders and find out what fitness activities interest them.
Identify your team’s most passionate fitness advocates from across your org and empower them to drive the information gathering that will help inform your plan.
You’ll be much more likely to come up with something that has widespread appeal.
Tip 7: Use the Fitness Challenge as a Kickoff to Larger Wellness Initiatives
The beauty of fitness challenges is that when done right, they’re a ton of fun. They create opportunities for your team to bond and energize them around physical well being.
To really maximize the value of fitness challenges, use their momentum to increase participation in a larger wellness program that includes access to healthy food, information on medical screenings, education on mental health and productivity, and other initiatives that support wellbeing.
Action Step: Demonstrate Individual ROI
Before your fitness challenge ends and all the rewards are handed out, make sure you collect data on how your team is feeling.
Some might be feeling more energized and productive. Others might have undergone physical transformations and lost weight!
Collect the data and present it to your team as a recap. Help connect the dots between this activity and more investment in their health and wellbeing via the additional programs you’re offering.
Office Fitness Challenge Apps
YuMuuv is a groundbreaking fitness and wellness platform that empowers individuals to take charge of their health and lead fulfilling lives.
With a strong emphasis on personalized workouts, expert nutrition guidance, and unwavering support for mental well-being, YuMuuv presents a comprehensive and holistic approach to achieving optimal health. Its extensive features make it a valuable companion for users, assisting them in setting and conquering their wellness goals.
- Personal Progress View — Get a comprehensive overview of your daily activity and seize the opportunity to track your progress.
- Program Management — If you could use an extra hand, YuMuuv would be happy to pre-set the challenges for you, making it easier for you to minimize administrative effort.
- Co-branding — It’s a great way to showcase your brand and make your challenges even more engaging and memorable. Add that extra touch of professionalism and creativity to make your challenges stand out!
Get your team active and unlock a world of possibilities with YuMuuv!
MoveSpring is an incredible employee wellness platform that actively encourages physical activity and promotes a healthier lifestyle among employees.
With its user-friendly mobile app, employees can actively participate in a wide range of fun and engaging fitness challenges, step competitions, and virtual races that foster a strong sense of camaraderie and motivation. By utilizing MoveSpring, employees experience improved well-being and strengthened team dynamics, which significantly boosts overall employee morale and productivity.
- Charitable Giving — Make your office fitness challenge extra special by adding a philanthropic component.
- Custom Tracking — Track any health initiatives you want, from sleep time to heart rate.
- Admin Dashboard — You can keep up with the results of your employee wellness challenges from the convenience of the app.
Bring your team together and move with MoveSpring!
Terryberry stands out as a leading provider of corporate wellness solutions, specializing in designing engaging and effective wellness challenges for organizations.
With a remarkable track record in promoting employee well-being, Terryberry’s tailored programs are designed to inspire healthier lifestyles, boost morale, and create a culture of wellness within companies.
Their innovative approach, customizable challenges, and comprehensive support make Terryberry the top choice for businesses committed to enhancing the health and happiness of their workforce.
- One-time Step Challenges — You have the power to decide the duration of your program – whether it’s a week, a month, or even several months! Make the most of this opportunity to achieve your goals and embrace the journey.
- Employee Engagement Surveys — Be Heard is a powerful employee engagement survey solution that goes beyond just improving your employee experience — it ignites business performance! Whether your organization is 100 or 10,000 strong, this platform simplifies and supercharges employee surveys, making them effective and effortless.
- Employee Wellness Programs — With seamless integration with various fitness devices, you can effortlessly monitor your progress through our app. Your achievements will be showcased on a virtual map or leaderboard, empowering you to track your performance, connect with fellow participants, and dive deeper into each challenge.
Get your office taking major strides forward with Terryberry!
What Is A Realistic Fitness Challenge Launch Timeline?
- Week 1 – Convene your wellness panel. Determine what activities your team already enjoys or might be interested in trying. Make sure there is adequate choice to maximize participation.
- Week 2 – Once the activity is determined, it’s time to design the challenge. Determine a BHAG that’s tangible, not abstract. Create rewards and incentives both on an individual and team level to foster some healthy competition. Make sure to also incorporate a feedback mechanism.
- Week 3 – Paint a wall in your common area with whiteboard paint. This will be your leaderboard. Buy trophies or badges to reward employees for hitting milestones.
- Week 4 – Launch! Get your team psyched. Make sure you have buy-in from executive leaders and managers – without their participation, your team might not take it seriously.
People Also Ask These Questions When Creating An Office Fitness Challenge
Q: What is an office fitness challenge?
- A: An office fitness challenge is a great way to encourage your employees to be more active and get in shape. There are various ways to set up an office fitness challenge, but the basic premise is that employees compete against each other to see who can get the most steps, burn the most calories, or whatever other metric you choose.
Q: How do I incentivize a corporate fitness challenge?
- A: The best way to incentivize a corporate fitness challenge is to offer prizes for the winners. These can be anything from gift cards to paid time off, but the important thing is that they are something that your employees will actually want.
Q: What are some tips for running a successful office fitness challenge?
- A: Here are a few tips to help you run a successful office fitness challenge:
- Make sure the corporate fitness challenge is something that employees will actually enjoy and want to participate in.
- Make it easy for employees to track their progress and see how they’re doing.
- Offer prizes or incentives for the employees who participate and do their best.
- Encourage employees to share their progress with others to help keep them motivated.
- Make sure you promote the work fitness challenge ahead of time so that everyone has a chance to get prepared.
- Be flexible with the rules and regulations so that employees can find a way to succeed that works best for them.
- Have fun with it! The more fun employees have, the more likely they are to stick with it and see results.
Employee Wellness Resources:
- 121 Employee Wellness Program Ideas Your Team Will Love
- 6 Easy Ways How To Reduce Stress at Work (And Be Happy)
- 45 Successful Corporate Wellness Programs Employees Will Love
- 42 Corporate Wellness Companies That Are Transforming Workplace Health and Happiness
- 13 Easy Ways to Create a Zen Office Space On a Budget
- 23 Surefire Ways to Boost Employee Wellbeing
- How to Create a Killer Office Fitness Challenge
- 11 Data-Backed Benefits of Employee Wellness Programs You Need to Know About
- Everything You Need to Launch a Kick-Ass Employee Wellness Survey
- 9 Simple Hacks to Stay Healthy at Work
- What Is An Employee Wellness Program?