Every company needs good employees for it to run properly. More importantly, every good company needs healthy employees for it to run properly. Employers across the country are constantly seeking new ways to promote health and wellness among their employees, and JADCO, a heavy steel fabricator located in western Pennsylvania, is no exception.
One effective and relatively easy way to do this is to implement a step challenge. You might think this is a challenge that wouldn’t appeal to everyone—such as men making abrasion and impact resistant steel—but we are surprised here at JADCO to see their willingness to participate. Not only are they willing, our team members are having a blast while doing it!
How to begin your challenge:
It’s impossible to have a step challenge without pedometers to track each employee’s progress. There are a few basic ways to obtain your pedometers. – Often times, medical insurance carriers are willing to sponsor wellness programs by donating the items and/or communication material needed to make them successful. Sometimes this includes pedometers. – If insurance carriers don’t offer pedometers, your next best option is to approach large chain department stores to inquire about a wellness program discount. – If all else fails, the Internet is always a tremendous resource for making large purchases of any kind.
Note: When choosing pedometers, it is highly recommended that they record 50,000 steps or more before they have to be reset. This will make the life of the data keeper much less stressful.
How to encourage participation:
In order for your wellness program to be successful, employees must be motivated to participate. Educating the employees on the benefits of walking and/or running is a great place to start. The Mayo Clinic website offers a plethora of ideas for beginners.
There are plenty of easy ways to add more walking into a daily routine. Share a list such as the following:
Park in a space further from the store entrance.
Walk around the store before shopping.
Mow the grass with a push mower rather than a riding mower.
Take the stairs rather than the elevator.
Take a walking break rather than a coffee break.
Visit a colleague rather than emailing.
Do everything possible to provide pedometers for the employees free of charge. The easier it is to start the challenge, the more likely it is that they will participate.
Offer a reward—preferably one that further promotes wellness—such as a mountain bike, a gym membership, or home delivery of a healthy food system. Set a minimum number of steps that must be taken in a certain period in order to be entered in a drawing for the prize.
NOTE: Beware of cheaters! Pedometers are famous for allowing the user to shake them to acquire more steps.
Lastly, register all participants for a group walking/running event to promote camaraderie and support a local charity. Relay For Life, a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society, is a great event to participate in as it is relevant to just about everyone.
Remember, this is a great way to show your employees that you care about their wellbeing, and not just their effect on your company. Healthy employees are reliable employees, and reliable employees are good employees.
Posted on 08/15/2012 at 12:00:00 AM