Health and wellness have been on the minds of many for the last 12 months. Both employers and employees have been wondering about how to make sure their workplaces are healthy spaces to be in.

To that end, it might be time to adopt a few workplace wellness challenges. Especially in trying times, these challenges could help you keep your team members motivated, healthy, and productive.

What Is a Wellness Challenge?

A wellness challenge is a program that gets employees to engage in a particular wellness behaviour for a set period of time. An example might be employees drinking more water.

Suppose your team members have been drinking lots of coffee, tea, and soda. They often complain about feeling tired or sore. Some people are concerned about their weight. Others have trouble with the caffeine in the drinks they’re consuming.

Drinking more water could be the solution to a lot of these complaints. Staying hydrated can help with energy levels and focus, in addition to being part of weight management. It may assist employees in cutting out caffeine and sugar, which could be causing inflammation and soreness, or keeping them awake at night.

So, you set up a wellness challenge to help employees get into the habit of drinking more water daily. For the month of March, you challenge interested team members to ensure they’re consuming 8 full glasses of water daily.

Wellness challenges can be wide ranging. There might be a sleep challenge or a fitness challenge. When the office reopens, you might challenge employees to ride or walk to work at least three times a week.

How to Manage Wellness Challenges

Wellness challenges can be structured in different ways. You could do a sign-up or ask employees to set their own goals. Maybe some employees start at 4 glasses of water a day. You could challenge employees to do a 21-day fitness challenge, but you let them pick the length, frequency, and intensity of their workouts.

Wellness challenges usually rely on some form of tracking tool and self-reporting. If you have a 21-day meditation challenge, you might ask employees to log in to a meditation app for at least 5 minutes every day. You may be able to track workout sessions or other fitness goals using an app, a smart watch, or a fitness tracker.

You could even use a tool like your HRIS. You can set up the challenge within the system, then give employees access to it so they can record their progress.

Mandatory or Voluntary?

It’s often tempting to make wellness challenges mandatory. This isn’t always a good idea, though.

Take, for example, the ride- or walk-to-work challenge. This is unreasonable for employees who don’t live within walking distance of the office. Employees who aren’t in great shape may find it too challenging, while others could have physical limitations that prevent them from participating.

Voluntary wellness challenges are often better received for this reason. The people who sign up are motivated to complete them and meet the goal.

If you want to have a mandatory wellness challenge, then there should be a comfortable range that allows employees to personalize their goals. For example, a 21-day fitness challenge should have customizable goals, so each employee can work at their own pace.

Allowing everyone to set their own goals within the challenge gives them greater ownership and control of the goal. People will be more motivated if the goal feels both obtainable and like it’s meeting their personal needs.

Get the Tools You Need

A wellness challenge could be a great idea, since it can help your team members meet their personal health goals and keep them motivated. That’s especially important in the current environment.

Whether you’re setting up a mandatory challenge or a voluntary one, make sure you have the tools you need to manage it effectively. Get in touch and discover what a difference the right HRIS can make!