Each new year, InfoMart conducts its annual Biggest Loser Competition. We invite the entire company to participate, set weigh-in dates, and offer a prize. In a company of more than 100 employees, the turnout is astounding. Nearly half of our entire workforce joins the initial weigh-in and most of the participants end up losing at least a few pounds.
The Biggest Loser Challenge is such a big hit with our employees that they start talking about it before Thanksgiving. By Christmas, our employees frequently quip, “I’ve eaten enough over the holidays to contend.” But it’s not just the holiday feasting that gets people excited to participate. It’s a combination of timing, the weight-loss resources supplied by our company, the prize, and the collective engagement of our employees.
So, here are 4 ways to make organizational health engaging for your workforce:
Having a good, solid plan is one of the most important steps that people often forget about. We’re busy with our work and our day-to-day tasks, and it can be difficult to make and stick to a plan that isn’t too complicated and has the organizational support it needs to succeed. It is not, however, impossible to create a great plan that is both simple and easily manageable by only a few people.
First, set a goal based on what your employees want. You can create a poll to find out what your staff is most excited to get out of a health program. Common health goals include:
Once you’ve identified the most important goals of your participants, you can create a plan for how to reach those goals.
There have been days when some employees are surprised to see others wearing sports jerseys or to hear an announcement on the loudspeaker inviting everyone to head outside for recess. Even if they read every company email they get, their surprise may be the result of having missed the morning meeting or only receiving one heads-up email before the event actually occurs.
To get the most participation and engagement out of any of your company events, you have to promote what you’re going to be doing in advance, and more than once. If you’re going to be holding a company cook-out, make sure you send out at least 3 emails inviting people to join and put some kind of sign up in a common area. If you need a solid attendance count, you can always implement a sign-up sheet or RSVP.
A truly engaging event is one that holds your employees’ attention for more than just the duration of the event itself. People are more engaged when they’re learning something or growing themselves, so provide resources to assist. These can be anything from lunch and learn seminars to online libraries and articles to fun facts distributed over email.
In our Biggest Loser Competition this year, my company provided additional resources to educate everyone about healthy living and demonstrate how to create and stick to healthy habits. In collaboration with our I’m Fit Committee, InfoMart has:
Even if you don’t have many physical resources available to you, you can still improve participation and employee engagement by inciting discussion. Give your employees something to talk about, such as a list of healthy snacks they can substitute for junk food when they go grocery shopping later, and they’ll be more engaged in your topic than if you just put out a basket of apples and bananas.
You may be thinking, “I’m asked to cut costs all the time; I can’t get approval for a prize that doesn’t make the company money!” However, the return on an investment in the wellness of your employees actually cuts HR costs and improves your company’s bottom line. According to the Wellness Council of America:
With this kind of potential return on the organization’s investment, your company can easily justify getting a cool prize your employees will want to win. A prize can even be the incentive they need to make a change they’ve been putting off for too long.
Don’t rely on second-rate companies to conduct background checks for you. Contact InfoMart to learn more about our intensive and thorough process, and to get started today.