Too often team wellness challenges turn into hostile interdepartmental competitions cheapened by financial rewards.
Midland, MI (PRWEB) June 15, 2013
With the release of its online publication, Team Wellness Challenges: 10 Keys to Success, Health Enhancement Systems now offers corporate wellness professionals a free guideline focusing on the dos and don’ts of workplace team wellness campaigns. This publication is part of a series of 1-page Need to Know checklists offered by the Michigan-based company in ongoing efforts to promote successful employee health improvements.
The guideline’s release comes during a shadow of doubt about corporate wellness program effectiveness cast by the new RAND report, to which Health Enhancement Systems founder and President Dean Witherspoon responded with his recently published article Beating the Dead Horse of Wellness ROI. Despite concerns that these programs may turn out to be more costly than beneficial, Witherspoon maintains that team wellness challenges as discussed in the guideline are crucial investments in human capital. Their value is not something that can be determined on a balance sheet. And what other employee benefit is subjected to such scrutiny to prove something that can't be measured accurately?
Specifically, Team Wellness Challenges: 10 Keys to Success stresses the research-backed concept that a team component is instrumental to increasing participation in, and completion, of employee wellness programs. Designed and administrated correctly, a team wellness challenge can enhance population health and create a better overall workplace environment. However, as the guideline also points out, many programs are currently failing to focus on the most important aspects team wellness campaigns.
“Too often team wellness challenges turn into hostile interdepartmental competitions cheapened by financial rewards,” explains Witherspoon. “At Health Enhancement Systems (HealthEnhancementSystems.com), we believe in intrinsic motivation. By keeping recognition of achievements simple and team oriented, team wellness programs have a better chance of inspiring employees to make lasting improvements to their health practices.”
The Health Enhancement Systems guideline summarizes several additional ingredients for strong team wellness campaigns:
- Set challenging, yet achievable team wellness goals as the measure of success. Objectives should be entirely group focused, with each participant having a meaningful role in contributing to the team’s overall success.
- Put team progress front and center. Update data in real time as much as possible so teams can view their progress in relation to others. Focus on improvement to keep the emphasis on health rather than winning/losing.
- Highlight achievements of the average participant. While the exploits of an uber- competitive VP of Finance may have interest to the rest of your organization’s triathletes, more people will be able to relate to the 15-year employee on the line who finally turned a corner through the support of teammates and coworkers.
Also underscored in Team Wellness Challenges: 10 Keys to Success is limiting team sizes. While large teams of more than 10 members can lead to “social loafing” — slacking off and not feeling responsible for team results — teams of 3-8 are effective in encouraging participation. Moreover, team wellness challenges should be clear and simple. As Witherspoon notes, complicated rules are likely to have adverse effects on participation.
“If your employees have to read through a manual to understand the wellness challenge, it’s probably too complex to be effective,” he adds. “An important aspect of any team wellness program is that it should be fun for employees. Most likely, they’re not going to have fun if they don’t know what’s going on.”
For more details, download the complete white paper at HealthEnhancementSystems.com/teamwellness.
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.
For more information about Health Enhancement Systems, visit HealthEnhancementSystems.com or call 800.326.2317.