When you hear the term company fitness, what do you think of? Do you think about sales projections and deficit reductions? Do you think about customer retention? Sure, that type of check-up is important, but I want to focus on your employees actual fitness.
Now, before you panic and start throwing out all the company snacks, this isn’t about forcing everyone on your team into some crazy diet that everyone is going to hate. However, for a few years now our office has been working out together and the results have been very positive.
Lots of companies have corporate wellness programs, and it is becoming more common. It make sense, the healthier your employees are, the less time off they take for illness, the more productive they are at work, and the happier they are.
Our company’s program started through a client. As we got to know more about them, we discovered they had personalized workouts, and the next thing you know several of us in the office were working out a few times a week. As someone who has participated it was a great perk of the job. It was also a good way to stay healthy and get in some much needed exercise.
Some of us would work out at the same time, but it was done on your individual schedule, so there was a lot of individuality. This went on for around a year or more and about half of us had stuck with it. Others of us (myself included) had fallen off for one reason or another. That’s when a new opportunity presented itself, one that would pay dividends for our office beyond employee health.
It was about two years ago when we started doing group workouts with a trainer. Our office was working out, together. The majority of our team was attending regularly. The sessions were challenging for everyone, but the trainer could adjust your workout based on your fitness/skill level. This meant those younger bucks who were gym rats had a scaled up workout from the 40-something rocking the dad bod. The success was instant. More of our team stuck with it because of the camaraderie that was developed at the gym.
We found a place within walking distance that we could go to over lunch. The sessions were short, but intense. Some employees saw significant personal gains, but everyone that is going benefited from the workouts.
Beyond the physical health, the office health has improved as well. What started as group complaining from the after effects of the workout, became more team building and jumping-off points for conversations. The groans and stretches at the gym translated to laughs and collaboration back at our desks. While this wasn’t the intended outcome, it has proven to be extremely beneficial to our work environment.
Now, it’s years later and our team is as strong as ever. New employees are welcomed into the program and encouraged to attend. Those that have dropped off know that the door is always open to return, and they take their fair share of good-natured ribbing about their lack of attendance.
While some companies offer financial incentives for wellness program participation or for goals such as weight loss or attendance, those may not be viable for every company.