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guide to kickstarting your wellness program

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One of the best ways companies can show employees that they care is through a wellness program. 

These programs are designed to help employees develop positive lifestyle habits, centering around fitness, nutrition and mental health. While wellness programs are amazing for employees, are they good for business, too? Well, if the success stories of the following companies are anything to go by, the answer is— absolutely.

Google revolutionizes the concept of workplace wellness

We can’t talk about wellness programs without mentioning the global giant that started it all: Google. It set the standard for the workplace experience with amenities like free bikes to gourmet cafeterias, on-call doctors, standing desks, office dogs, and many more job perks that most people can only dream of having. 

Thanks to going the extra mile, Google is now considered one of the best places to work and attracts the brightest talents from all over the world.

Fitbit places wellness at the core of the workplace

Fitbit proved that putting employees first is the best thing a company can do for their bottom line. Using its patented wrist tracker technology, Fitbit inspired employees to join small, fun fitness contests with rewards for the most active players. 

To date, the initiative is credited with helping reduce sick days, loss productivity, and lost wages for Fitbit, on top of nurturing its team’s wellbeing. 

SSQ’s rewarded employees for taking care of themselves – and won an award for it

SSQ, a Canadian finance company, created an internal wellness program called the HealthWise Health Passport. Available to all employees, the program offers everything from customized nutrition plans, fitness programs, and even programs that help individuals stop smoking. It also rewards employees for meeting their annual health goals.

The program won SSQ the Health & Wellness Leadership Award from Goodlife. Aside from gaining industry recognition, SSQ employees also report tremendous improvements from being part of the HealthWise Health Passport. They’re sleeping better, eating healthier, and reducing vices like smoking, therefore boosting productivity at the workplace. 

Zappos turns office wellness into something that people actually enjoy

For Zappos, a wellness program that only contains traditional workouts just doesn’t cut it. Sure, the online shoe behemoth offers its employees fitness classes and gym memberships, but that’s just the start.

Don’t love the gym? Zappos understands, which is why it came up with “Wellness Adventures.” This encourages employees to do a fun thing during their lunch break, such as basketball, laser tag, or trampolining. 

There’s also something called “Recess Tuesdays” in which the office plaza is filled with playground toys like tetherballs, all of which result in a happier team that’s getting exercise in creative ways.

Clearly, it’s good business to set up workplace wellness programs. After all, your company is only as strong as your team. Happy, healthy, and mentally fit employees are more productive and creative. They take fewer sick leaves and are rarely participating in presenteeism. It’s also an excellent way to retain talent and increase engagement. 


7 fun and engaging wellness challenges

Companies have everything to gain by investing in their employees’ well-being. However, not every company has the budget to give away $150 Fitbits to their entire team, install Lego stations, or turn the parking lot into an adult-sized playground. Maybe you’re running a global team and some of the members work remotely. 

Wellness.Work is an employee engagement tool for corporate wellness programs. Using just one software, you can:


  • Create an online private wellness community within the company
  • Have one place to store your wellness program content 
  • Enjoy an intuitive mobile app employee experience
  • Share daily workout, nutrition and self-improvement content the whole organization

Companies can also use Wellness.Work to engage employees with interactive fitness challenges. Utilize your preferred metrics such as steps, repetitions, weight etc. Don’t forget about the rewards and prizes to fire up their motivation!

The best fitness challenges shouldn’t just get your workers moving. They should also be doable (not everyone wants to run a marathon) and most importantly, fun!


1. The Random Acts of Kindness Challenge 

Helping others makes the world a better place, and it feels good, too! Challenge your employees to do one random act of kindness a day. It can be anything— a handwritten thank you note, walking a friend’s dog for free, or as extravagant as leaving a huge tip to your restaurant server. 

Wellness.Work Tip: Do this by creating a "best self" post in the Wellness.Work admin and title it the Random Acts of Kindness Challenge. Set the amount of time you would like this challenge to run. Then set the scoring metric to "for completion". This will give your employees the ability to notify the admin that they did the challenge and upload a picture or comment of what they did. Employees will then be listed on a leaderboard in the order of who completed this challenge first. Each employee will be able to click on other people's submissions to see what their associates did. This is a fun way to encourage giving back to the community.


2. Amount of Water Consumed Per Day Challenge

Are your employees drinking enough water? They should be, because hydration is a key to health. The Amount of Water Consumed Per Day Challenge requires participants to record their daily water consumption. At the end of the challenge, the ones who drink the most water win. 

Wellness.Work Tip: Do this challenge by creating a "nutrition" post in the Wellness.Work admin. Give the challenge a catchy name. Set the amount of time you would like the challenge to run. Then set the scoring metric to "reps". This will give your employees the ability to enter a total amount of ounces they drank during the duration of the challenge. Once the challenge has concluded employees will be listed on a leaderboard in the order of who drank the most amount of ounces.


3. The 30-Day 30-Minute Active Challenge

For 30 days, challenge everyone to exercise for just 30 minutes a day. Especially perfect for sedentary individuals to start building a fitness habit. The physical activity can be anything of your own choosing, such as walking or light jogging.

Wellness.Work Tip: Do this challenge by creating a "workout" post in the Wellness.Work admin. Create a fun catchy title. Set the amount of time you would like this challenge to run. Then set the scoring metric to "reps". This will give your employees the ability to enter the total amount of days that they worked out in the 30 day period. Once the challenge has concluded employees will be listed on a leaderboard in the order of who did the most workouts.


4. The Homecooked Meal Challenge

For a period of your choosing, participants are required to cook a meal from scratch. Ask them to upload progress photos and a picture of the finished dish. A great way to show off culinary skills and help them observe healthier eating habits!

Wellness.Work Tip: Do this challenge by creating a "Nutrition" post in the Wellness.Work admin. Create a fun catchy title. Set the amount of time you would like this challenge to run. Then set the scoring metric to "Completion". This will give your employees the ability to create a nutritious home cooked meal within the time frame given. Employees will be able to upload pictures and their comment to be listed on the leaderboard. The leaderboard will list employees who complete the challenge first at the top but the winner of the challenge will be who gets the most likes on their submission.


5. The Holiday Bulge Battle Challenge

To join this challenge, individuals will be asked to weigh themselves on a given day before the holiday season. Players who can maintain their weight within one pound of their original weight until after the holidays win prizes. Simple and effective!

Wellness.Work Tip: Do this challenge by creating a "Nutrition" post within the Wellness.Work admin. Set the title as "Holiday Battle of The Bulge". Set the amount of time for this challenge to be around Thanksgiving and or Christmas. Set the scoring metric for this challenge to be "Lowest Score". Employees will be able to enter the amount of weight they gained or lost along with uploading two pictures of proof at the end of the challenge.


6. The 5-a-Day Fruit and Veggie Challenge

Most people need more veggies and fruits in their diet. For 4 weeks, participants have to consume at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Every week, individuals who manage to hit the required number of servings are eligible for a prize raffle. 

Wellness.Work Tip: Do this challenge by creating a "Nutrition" post within the Wellness.Work admin. Create a catchy title. Set the amount of time for this challenge to be a month long. Set the scoring metric of this challenge to be "Reps". Employees will be able to upload photos along with entering the amount of servings of fruits and veggies that they ate during this challenge. The leaderboard will show employees with the most fruit and veggie servings at the top.


7. The 10,000 Step Challenge

This one’s a daily race to 10k! Challengers have to walk (or run) their way to accumulating 10, 000 steps daily. The one with the greatest number of steps at the end of the challenge wins.

Wellness.Work Tip: Do this challenge by creating a "Workout" post within the Wellness.Work admin. Create a catchy title. Set the amount of time you would like this challenge to run. Set the scoring metric of this challenge to be "steps". Employees will be able to upload screenshots of their pedometer apps along with entering the amount of steps they completed during this time period. The leaderboard will show employees with the most steps at the top. 


Finally, encourage your employees to brainstorm new challenges they’d like to try. Make wellness a part of your corporate culture with the help of Wellness.Work!

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