Wellness programs are most effective when employees are engaged and actively participating. Wellness programs can become even more effective when employees are working with each other to reach goals and win competitions. When wellness programs are promoted to create a fun and exciting culture for employees, employers may see an increase in positive workplace relationships. Work relationships are essential for a positive work environment, and team-building activities provide an opportunity for employees to relax and have fun—with an added benefit of reducing stress levels.1
A study published by The New England Journal of Medicine found that social influence may be able to slow the spread of obesity and develop positive health behaviors. Additionally, the study found that smoking and alcohol cessation programs and weight-loss interventions that provide peer support are more successful than programs that do not provide peer support.2 It makes sense—when you have support and are encouraged to keep working hard, you typically stay engaged. Additionally, when you are on a team and working toward a unified goal, you tend to stay engaged and work hard for the benefit of the team.
Ways to champion team wellness in the workplace
The first course of action is to create a network of champions. Wellness program “champions” provide peer support to help communicate program benefits and boost participation.
Champion team members should have several important traits.3 It’s important to find teammates who have a passion for health and supporting people. These champions should be willing to serve as advocates and role models and have excellent social skills. In addition, a champion is a good communicator—clear, direct and easy to understand. The ideal team members will be aware of the program’s communication plan and will be able to stay on script when speaking to other employees. Lastly, look for people who are open to sharing their own stories and making their role as a champion personal and transparent. People who have a personal connection and feel they are supported are more likely to stay engaged and consistently participate in your wellness program. Champions need to be positive, consistent and excited to provide peer support.
Team wellness at work
Employers have a lot of team wellness initiatives that can be created to get everyone involved. For example, team challenges encourage employees to take on healthier lifestyles. Additionally, they can foster a positive culture and camaraderie among peers, which helps people adopt or maintain a healthier way of living.4
Wellness Challenges can be as simple or complex as you decide to make them. They can be as simple as having teams add up their steps each month and compare against other teams, or as complex as creating multiple events over the course of several months with bracket breakouts, like a college sports championship tournament. Keep it simple to start so you can encourage and measure engagement. As engagement grows, you can work toward longer and more complex team Challenges.
Team wellness Challenges
Here are several team Challenges to promote team wellness in your organization:5
- Get a minimum of 7 hours of sleep
- Participate in a physical exam or health screening
- Start a hydration, step or fitness challenge
- Avoid junk food
- Offer volunteer time off hours
- Reduce body mass index (BMI)
- Online mental health fair
The goal with team wellness Challenges is to get employees to unwind, have fun and reduce stress levels. Not everyone will participate all the time, but more opportunities for the team to connect and participate will bring better results.
- Find out what works best for your team and get creative in how you incorporate that Challenge again.
- Look for ways to reward teams that might motivate or help encourage them to stay engaged.
- Consider creating boards, internal dashboards or displays where you can post results or track team progress.
- Create a community where employees can chat about improvements, encourage others and participate in friendly competitive banter.
- Share results at town halls or company meetings to showcase leaderboards and results.
Go365® is the well-being and rewards program, powered by Humana, which uses proven techniques and intelligent incentives to improve health outcomes and increase productivity. We provide wellness program administrators with resources for Employer-sponsored Events and fitness Challenges that can be personalized to your employees’ needs. Our templated programs include a wide range of team-based activities with an opportunity for members to earn Points and Bucks.
The Go365 Challenge platform has a social functionality, including high-fives, heckles and an internal chat to enhance engagement and friendly competition.
In addition, the Go365 National Step Challenge (NSC) is an annual health and wellness competition focused on improving employee fitness, while fighting hunger. Companies compete based on team size and the average number of steps taken by each team. According to internal Go365 data in 2020, NSC participants increased their daily steps by 856 steps, relative to non-NSC participants—even after the Challenge ended. These activities can encourage healthier habits in the long term.
To learn more about Go365 team wellness strategies, contact your Humana sales rep or request more information about Go365’s wellness program by filling out this formOpens in new window.
Go365 is not an insurance product and is not available with all Humana health plans. This is a general description of services which are subject to change. Product features may vary by client. Please refer to Customer Support for more information.
- Alan Kohll, “15 Fun Stress-Reducer Games and Activities for Remote Employees,” Forbes, last accessed June 14, 2021, https://www.forbes.com/sites/alankohll/2020/09/23/15-fun-stress-reducer-games-and-activities-for-remote-employees/?sh=8903c37c3479Opens in new window.
- Nicholas A. Christakis, James H. Fowler, “The spread of obesity in a large social network over 32 years,” The New England Journal of Medicine, last accessed on June 14, 2021, https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMsa066082Opens in new window.
- Erin Seaverson, “Tips on creating a ‘wellness champion network’ for your workplace,” The Business Journal, last accessed June 14, 2021, https://www.bizjournals.com/bizjournals/how-to/human-resources/2015/09/tips-on-creating-a-wellness-champion-network.htmlOpens in new window.
- M.J. White, “Workplace Wellness Challenges – Fun, Effective, and Free!” Corporate Wellness Magazine.com, last accessed June 14, 2021, https://www.corporatewellnessmagazine.com/article/workplace-wellness-challengesOpens in new window.
- Angela Robinson, “40 Virtual Employee Wellness Program Ideas for 2021,” Teambuilding, last accessed June 14, 2021, https://teambuilding.com/blog/employee-wellness-programOpens in new window.
Go365 is not an insurance product and is not available with all Humana health plans. This is a general description of services which are subject to change. Please refer to Customer Support for more information.