There’s no denying the growing popularity of employer-sponsored wellness programs as a weapon in the battle against skyrocketing healthcare costs. About 61% of employers surveyed offer a wellness program, according to a recent report (http://www.shrm.org/
When it comes to employee wellness, nothing beats a friendly competition for fun and support. Enjoyment is a huge factor in keeping participants on board and enthusiastic. And team-based wellness programs are naturally motivating. They foster a sense of camaraderie and spirit that inspires members to achieve health goals — for the sake of team pride as well as a personal sense of accomplishment. Social support is critical in successfully changing health behaviors. With team wellness challenges, it’s built in — along with the fun.
Few can resist the appeal of teaming up to test their mettle against coworkers — across the hall or across the country — for better fitness, nutrition, weight loss or stress management.
Health Enhancement Systems has included buddy, team, and other social features in online wellness campaigns for more than a decade. The data is overwhelmingly in favor of bringing small groups together to work toward common goals. The overall impact of teams across all the company’s wellness campaigns is impressive:
• Registration increases 15%-87% (+24% average)
• Completed evaluation increases 6%-97% (+53% average)
• Health goal achieved increases 14%-90% (+57% average).
When it comes to specific objectives, team participants are more likely to reach the target by a wide margin. For example:
• Great American Fitness Adventure — 30+ minutes of exercise, 5 or more days a week: +58%
• HealthTrails — 5 or more produce servings a day and 30+ minutes of exercise, 5 or more days a week: +84%
• Walktober and 10K-A-Day — daily walking goals of 30 minutes, 5 or more days a week and 10,000 steps a day: +42% and +44%.
The power of joining with others on a wellness team is hard to overstate. Research shows that simply observing others working toward a goal can motivate people to pursue the same goal, whether or not they realize it. This effect is most potent when people share a group. The typical workplace is full of groups — departments, units, functions, as well as physical work areas — giving team- based wellness initiatives a familiar format.
Team Wellness Challenges: Energizing Engagement, Inspiring Change (http://www.hesonline.com/
For easy reference, the free paper also outlines:
• Keys to doing wellness teams well
• Easy tips for enhancing wellness team success
• Specific ways to cultivate high-performing wellness teams.
“Team challenges provide an element of excitement often missing from traditional wellness programs,” notes Dean Witherspoon, President and founder of Health Enhancement Systems. “Participants don’t need carrots or sticks to spark their interest in a program that’s fun, challenging, and social. By offering team wellness challenges, employers make the hard work of behavior change more enjoyable, with the support participants need to make it sustainable.”
Health Enhancement Systems creates employee wellness programs for organizations in North America and throughout the world. More than 20 effective, engaging HES wellness campaigns have been adopted by over a thousand organizations — serving hundreds of thousands of participants successfully.
For more information about Health Enhancement Systems, visit http://www.hesonline.com or call 800.326.2317.