Seven Simple Ways to Encourage Employee Participation in Corporate Races

Now what? How do your form a team? Your organization has agreed to participate inSign Up Button Shows Members And Subscriptions a corporate 5K race and you want to be well represented. A sign-up sheet has been placed in the break room or on the company portal. You know and understand the benefits of corporate races, but how do you entice your employees to join the team?

Here are six simple ways to encourage your employees to participate in corporate races. Read more of this post

R-A-C-E: Four Compelling Reasons to Participate in Corporate Road Races

runnersIn cities and communities all across America, businesses, corporations and other organizations are given the opportunity to participate in local road races. Most often these races will include a 5K and Fun Run, with an occasional longer distance race. However, because they are designed for corporate participation they will often include unique features not found in typical community races. Yes, there will be the t-shirts, water stops and post-race munchies. But there is often much more such as team competitions, awards for C-suite leaders, and prizes for teams donning the best running outfits. Corporate race events are fun…and they encourage fitness.

Here in Atlanta there are ample opportunities for corporate teams to join the fitness fun. The Kaiser Permanente Corporate Run/Walk is the largest race in Atlanta devoted to corporate participation. Produced by U.S. Olympian Jeff Galloway, the 5K Run/Walk includes a training program, a field of 400 corporate teams and 16,000 runners and walkers, and  concludes with the largest company picnic this side of the Chattahoochee.

Not your average  winners' ribbons

Not your average winners’ ribbons

The Button Down Dash, sponsored by the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce, is a more intimate event designed to bring the Gwinnett business community together, support local nonprofit organizations, and enhance the health of the community. In addition to the 5K Run/Walk, the Button Down Dash includes a Fun Run, 10K and the ever popular Diaper Dash where fit mammas and poppas race while pushing their children in strollers. Instead of the typical race medal, plaques and trophies, the winners take home a coveted gold briefcase or the sought-after neckties presented to each finisher, (in addition, of course, to the t-shirt).

Wherever these races are held, the race organizers will encourage corporate teams to participate, touting the benefits of participation. What are those benefits? Below, are just four of the benefits of participating. Read more of this post

What is the Difference between Wellness and Well-being?

arabiaMountainWhen we think of wellness, our thoughts often race to fitness, physical health and nutrition. Other wellness practitioners, however, say we need to move from Wellness to an understanding of Well-being.

What is Well-being?

While wellness is often a focus on physical health, well-being is a term that helps us grasp the importance of understanding that total health is more than the physical. Some will refer to this as total wellness, holistic wellness or a whole of life experience.

Well-being includes physical health, but it also includes additional key aspects of our lives such as Emotional, Psychological, Mental and Intellectual health. Social and Community health, where there is a sense of belong, are often included. Spiritual health is also often inserted into the conversation, such as in The Daniel Plan where the Biblical phrase of body, mind and spirit is used to demonstrate the scope of well-being.

Having a sense of Purpose is sometimes incorporated into the discussion on well-being, while Financial health is a common component of even some of the most basic wellness offerings. Even Career and Occupational health is included in well-being. Others will add Read more of this post

How to Add FUN to Your Employee Wellness

FunStudies have found employees are more likely to engage in wellness when participation has an element of fun. Therefore, how can Wellness Coordinators generate smiles with their wellness initiatives? The good news is that many others have found the answer and we can glean from their creativity.

I’ve heard the complaints. You’ve heard them too.  “I’m not getting the flu shot; I hate needles.” Or “Schedule a physical? No way, I’m fine.” “This is only about saving the company money.” But when a measure of entertainment is added to the wellness programming, participation increases.

Volkswagen Did It

Taking a stairway can be good for health and be fun. Volkswagen desired to increase the use of their stairway which was located adjacent to an escalator. While many organizations have experienced success in encouraging the use of stairways by making the stairway attractive with bright colors or murals, Volkswagen went a $50,000 step further when they Read more of this post

Long Live The Employee!

OldManHave any 100-year-old employees on your payroll? Most likely, you don’t. Yet, what if your employees engaged in healthy lifestyles which enabled them to live 30, 40 or 50 years beyond retirement? I’m not advocating employing 95 year-olds. However, my hunch is if you have employees who will eventually reach the age of 100 then their current physical fitness is contributing to their productivity on the job.

Dan Buettner is the author of The Blue Zones, a New York Times Bestseller. The Blue Zones is a book providing “lessons for living longer from the people who’ve lived the longest.” Buettner does not target employers, but the principles shared certainly have implications for employee wellness.

The research is conducted among four groups of people who have a significantly higher percentage of inhabitants living to be centenarians, (100 years of age or older). The four Blue Zone communities are found in the Barbagia region of Sardinia in Italy, Okinawa in Japan, Loma Linda, California in the United States, and on the Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica.

Studies have shown only about 25% of how long we live is dictated by genes—the other 75% is determined by lifestyle and choices. Buettner and his team paid close attention to the lifestyle similarities of these four Blue Zones and developed nine lessons to work into our lives if we desire to live longer…and more productive. What may be surprising to some, however, is many of the lifestyle choices are more “mental or spiritual” than “physical.” This supports a growing understanding of holistic wellness: Wellness programs focusing solely on nutrition and exercise lack essential elements of effective health promotion. Read more of this post

Yes, There ARE Employer Wellness Initiatives that Bring Immediate Results

Most of us who are actively engaged in Employee Wellness will affirm the best initiatives call for patient commitment. Outcome Based employee wellness plans offer long-term and maximum results, but the gratification is often delayed. However, I was recently introduced to a simple initiative that can bring immediate results.  Better yet, not only can it be immediately effective, but the cost is minimal. Read more of this post

How to Avoid the Scarlet Letter in Your Employee Wellness Program

scarletLetterHester Prynne struggled with the open shame and guilt of sin—much like many employees today who are forced to endure the shame placed upon them by well-meaning employee wellness programs.

The name Hester Prynne may not ring the bell of our memory, but many of us remember what she was forced to bear. Hester is the key character in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Scarlet Letter. She gives birth to a daughter, revealing her affair.  Upon being found guilty of adultery in 17th Century Puritan Boston, she is forced to wear the scarlet letter “A” on her dress as a sign of shame.

With employee wellness booming across America, we are seeing some effective initiatives and some flops. Mixed within both spectrums of the attempts at employee wellness success, is the unintended consequence of employee shame. “Laura” is a modern-day Hester Prynne. Read more of this post