I remember speaking with a colleague and friend of mine about the rise of wellbeing within organizations. He had a company where they would wisk away leadership teams to exotic locations and begin to show them the benefits of having a wellness program within their organization. It was mainly focused around physical activity coupled with healthy eating and to give you a frame of reference on how long ago this way, there are less eggs in a carton than how many times they've switched from being on the naughty or nice list.
Nowadays though, I'm still surprised at the amount of organizations that really only follow this model. I've heard it so often when I ask "What efforts have you done thus far for wellbeing?" and their reply is either a weight-focused challenge or steps challenge and the occasional "we've ordered salad at lunches before". It's wild to me that these have somehow STILL maintained their reputation as what you just do. You just do these things and people are going to be healthier, right?
Let me first say, I have nothing against steps challenges (although I do have beef with weight challenges but that's for another day) however, so much science is shown to say that these are actually more harmful than good. I know what you're saying "But being more active is a pillar of health!" to which I agree with but here's the real scoop: If you're only doing that one challenge, focusing only on physical wellbeing, or just flat out think this will have ANY affect on your organization...the answer is no and let me be clear - we're talking about having multiple of these challenges because if you think one challenge will somehow change your employees for the better - CALL US, you need some guidance :-)
What will inevitably happen is this: The first time you have this challenge you will most likely be met with mixed emotions around it. You'll have some that are amped about it, some that are skeptical, and some that flat out think it's stupid. The people that are amped will be all over this challenge, but will eventually just do what they've always done in the long term. Only having one challenge a year that is so specific to one area of wellbeing will inevitable leave your employees who aren't interested in that one area of wellbeing (for instance, movement or steps like runners). For the skeptics out there, they'll be the first to drop either during the challenge (because they won't win, won't complete it, the online platform is one more step, etc) or more than likely beginning the second time you have that challenge. The novelty has worn off, they didn't get anything last time, they're busier this year, they have a different team, and so on and so forth. This is the biggest bulk of the population, and once you see those numbers dip, they won't be coming back anytime soon. Finally there are always those people who just don't do these types of challenges. Flat out, you'll always have a portion of the employee population just not interested.
So, what do we do with this? Well, first you need a complete plan for your wellbeing. Then, let's start somewhere where your employees are at, and begin to establish that trust that we're here to help, support, encourage, and enable. Then we can begin to see what challenges (if any) really fit within your scope. The last thing I'd want for you to do is to waste money, time, effort, and ultimately end up hurting your future efforts with some of these one-off plans. Be sure to contact us today so we can see where you're at and help guide you to a stronger, healthier organization!