Employees care about health and want their employers to care. Employers can clearly see that fitness leads to better productivity and better health. This is the reason starting an employee fitness program is a good idea, and the following are a few tips to get it done.
One thing that has to be decided early on is if you’re going to create a dedicated exercise space for your employees. You can make this area an indoor gym, or maybe you’ll have a courtyard where your employees can play a game with each other. You could also keep it simple and create a small track somewhere on your property.
Investing in a dedicated space may help get your employees motivated to exercise. They’ll notice that others are doing it, and they’ll start to feel like they should, too. This is especially true if you make an effort to motivate them. A decision like this one can’t be made lightly. Talk to a contractor to find out what it might cost to create a dedicated space, and factor that cost into your profits to see if it’s something you can do.
Some employers tell employees to only exercise before or after work. This can backfire sometimes, and you don’t want that. You want your employees to workout throughout the day. You need to make the decision to pay your employees while they exercise, or maybe offer a bonus to employees who stick to the fitness program.
This way it’s up to your employees to participate, and you won’t have to do much work to motivate them. A little extra cash in each paycheck helps, and it ends up helping your team as a whole. If you don’t want to give them a bonus each week, you can’t do it once a month.
Sometimes, you simply don’t have space for a dedicated workout area, and that’s okay. Just because your space is limited, doesn’t mean you can’t start an employee fitness program. One thing you can do is start a challenge board.
You can even let your employees come up with the day’s challenges, and the board will help keep everyone accountable. The challenges could be easy and office-friendly, like doing a few squats near your desk or something similar. There are a number of exercises you can do sitting down, so let your employees get creative with it.
Employees aren’t always motivated by challenges or monetary incentives. Sometimes, it needs to come from the heart. What you can do is have your team participate in physical but charitable events around the community, such as a run for children or a sickness.
Not only will it help expose your business, but you’ll look good since you got your team to donate their time to a specific charity. There are a number of charities, so you can take votes to see which one your team will participate in. The physical aspect takes place outside of work. You don’t need an indoor gym for this option.
If you can’t figure out a way to get all of your employees to participate in a physical charity event, you could consider the active volunteer option. Here, every employee gets the opportunity to focus on an activity they enjoy, like coaching soccer or coaching football.
Everyone has certain interests; just make sure it’s something physical. Most communities have kids who want to participate in competitive sports but need a volunteer coach. This is where your employees come in if they’re willing to do it. Give them flexible schedules so that they feel free to coach. They’ll become role models, and this could definitely help motivate your employees.
Maybe you need to hold an event for your entire team. Then, everyone has to participate, and you also get to do something that’ll help foster that precious team spirit. You’ll want to keep things fresh, so make sure you organize a new physical event each month.
One month you may have a tournament between players, or maybe one month you can have everyone run through an obstacle course. You could even have your entire team play something like laser tag or paintball. You’ll find that your employees will start to look forward to these events. They are fun and help let go of a little bit of stress, which is always a good thing.
Now, you’ve got six good tips to help you figure out how you’re going to start an employee fitness program, and all you have to do is choose the one that’ll work best for your team. Hopefully, these tips help set you in the right direction.
By Abby Drexler, BOSS contributor