No matter what sort of company you work for, keeping your employees healthy and happy is the key to productivity and profit. Many people spend a majority of their time in life at work so it can be difficult for them to build wellness habits when they are mostly doing so outside of the workplace. A wellness challenge program is a great way to help your employees stay healthy while creating a more involved and enthusiastic atmosphere. That way your employees begin building positive wellness habits and associate that positivity in their life with the workplace. Encouraging your people to stay healthy is a great thing to do, and there is no better time to get a wellness program started than now. Here are ten ideas for your employee wellness challenge!
1. Nutrition Challenge
Nutrition is a lynchpin of wellness for any human being. Nutrition encompasses a wide breadth of things, including food but not limited to it. Eating healthy is a sure way to get your nutrition on point. A great way to do this is to focus on eating whole foods and getting enough vitamins. For example, you can adequately get the right nutrients through your food and something like a green superfoods powder to supplement for certain vitamins, minerals and other necessary nutrients. A great way to encourage your employees to focus on their nutrition could be to cater a lunch with a delicious and healthy buffet and to hold an education seminar focused on dietetics. Then, you can assign your employees accountability partners who encourage and hold each other accountable for a two week stint. At the end of the two weeks, each partnership can earn incentives in the workplace based on some measure of nutrition which your company can determine.
2. Water Challenge
Humans simply cannot live without water. This is a basic fact of life, but oftentimes people get so wrapped up in their daily lives that they forget to drink this one thing that they so desperately need for wellness. You can encourage your employees to drink more water everyday through a fun wellness challenge. You can start by providing them all with free water bottles that have company logos on the bottle. Then, have them track how much water they drink per day for about a week. Based on scientific guidelines, whichever employees drink adequate amounts of water each day for a whole week can earn incentives like company swag or other prizes. Of course, you need to make sure your employees understand not to drink too much water, just the recommended daily amount.
3. Mental Health Challenge
Mental health is an important puzzle piece in the picture that is employee wellness. Many people struggle with stable mental health everyday, and that stability can be threatened by a number of things. To combat this in your employees and keep them all in a good headspace you can instigate a challenge that centers around their mental health. One way you could do this is to hold ten minute meditation sessions once a day and provide incentives for people to attend. You can also work with other local mindfulness visits, such as a yoga studio, to offer discounted classes for your employees.
4. Exercise Challenge
You don’t have to run a marathon to be healthy. In fact, doing about 20 minutes of any kind of movement that elevates your heart rate each day is all you really need to gain some kind of benefit from exercise. This could be tricky territory to make into a challenge because you do not want to encourage unhealthy exercise for competitive gain. Instead, you can do something similar to a water challenge and set company incentives or other prizes for anyone who exercises 20 minutes a day for a full week.
5. Step Challenge
While exercise is important, so is consistent movement throughout the day. Small changes of habit such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator or walking to get lunch can add to a person’s overall wellness. A way to incentivize your employees towards movement is to propose a challenge where employees compete to reach 10,000 steps a day. Encouraging your employees to make a habit of simply trying to move more proactively and intentionally throughout the day can lead them to healthier and happier lives.
6. Sport Challenge
Another great way to motivate employees to stay active is to start and support a rec league team for your company within the community for baseball, basketball, soccer or some other fun team sport. If there is no local rec league for adult sports, you can start a company initiative and have inter-company teams! Accounting versus sales in a basketball game might prove to be an interesting and fun way for your employees to stay healthy.
7. Anti-smoking Challenge
Despite the obvious health risks, there are still quite a few smokers out there. If you have noticed any of your employees taking smoking breaks then this challenge may be relevant to you. Cigarettes are extremely addictive and people may need incentives in order to want to stop using them. You as an employer can positively encourage your smoking employees to quit! You can offer company-based rewards for when your employees reach one month, six months and more of life without cigarettes.
8. Community Service Challenge
Volunteering can actually improve human health. Studies have shown that people who dedicate a certain amount of their time to helping others are generally physically and mentally more well than those who do not. You can help both your employees and your community by working with local organizations like soup kitchens, food pantries and more. An incentive for your employees to volunteer might look like paid time off in exchange for volunteer hours or company wide volunteer days.
9. Being Positive Challenge
This is another challenge that has to do specifically with mental health. Positivity is not ignoring the bad things in life, rather, it is appreciating the good things and focusing on them. A lot of high functioning people in their respective fields practice gratitude journaling. This is the practice of taking a small amount of time each and every day to write down praises about the positive aspects of your life. Whether they write a whole page or a list of three things, you can encourage your employees to practice gratitude journaling once a day for a week or more and provide prizes to those who do this. You can even base educational programs off of this challenge and discuss mental health with your employees.
10. Hobby Challenge
Hobbies can be a fun way for employees to channel their passions into something they get to do more often. Some people enjoy painting, some enjoy crafting and others enjoy baking. No matter the hobby, your company can aid its employees by offering a certain amount of payment to invest in the employees’ hobbies. If this is simply not cost effective, then you can start a program that links one employee with others who share the same passion. Who knows, you may even indirectly start a company band!
Investing in your employees’ wellness is worth it. You get to benefit the lives of your employees and their families and you get to reap the financial rewards of increased productivity and a happier workplace. Employee wellness is incredibly worth it, so try out some of these challenges and see what kind of greatness you can foster within your company!