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How To Foster Team Spirit Through A Remote Wellness Challenge 

A wellness challenge can do wonders for your team. Not only will it promote wellbeing on a personal level, it will also help promote teamwork and build relationships among those on your staff. They’re particularly effective for teams who work remotely and rarely meet face to face.

Of course, given the events of 2020, more people than ever before are working remotely. As such, there has never been a better time to consider a wellness challenge in your organisation. With a little careful planning, you can implement a challenge that will have a positive impact on people throughout your team.

At Service Direct, we decided to put a wellness challenge into action as a way of supporting each other and moving forward in a positive manner. Our daily routine of seeing each other in the office had been disrupted, but that didn’t mean we were any less of a team. Fortunately, we have seen great results from our wellness challenge, and we’d like to offer some advice based on our experiences.

We hope the tips below will help you hit the ground running with a memorable wellness challenge in 2021.

Planning

Setting up a wellness challenge in your business is a wonderful idea, whether the world is in the middle of a pandemic or not. However, without a bit of careful planning, things might not work out quite as you had planned. Based on our experience, here are the most important things you need to decide before you get started.

Decide on a timeframe. Your challenge should have a specific beginning and end date – try to run the event for at least a month, but you may want to keep it open for longer. We ran our wellness challenge for 3 months, and based on feedback, that felt a little too long. So, I’d try to keep it between 4-6 weeks long.

Pick a leader (or group of leaders). Assign leadership of this event to someone who is excited about the opportunity and will serve as a point of contact for all participants. You also need someone who can make decisions and get any budget approvals.

Choose challenge activities. It’s best to offer a mix of activities, including some fitness challenges, dietary goals, and lifestyle changes. We assigned points for each activity on a scale from 1-3 based on level of effort, or potential wellness benefit.

Here is a list of our activity breakdown:

Three Point Activities

  • 30 minutes of exercise
  • 4 continuous hours of digital detox
  • 7 hours of sleep in a night
  • 3 servings of fruits and veggies in a day

Two Point Activities

  • Drink 64 ounces of water in a day
  • Share 3 things you are grateful for

One Point Activities

  • Spend 20 minutes journaling
  • Perform 20 minutes of stretching
  • Meditate for 10 minutes
  • Read for 30 minutes (non-work-related reading)

Create a transparent way to track progress. With a leaderboard available to everyone, participants can see how they are doing and get the motivation to keep pushing on. This also helps to make sure tracking progress doesn’t become a burden on those leading the event.  We created this Google Spreadsheet Template to help you get started.

Decide on communication channels. Consider using a platform that your business already uses on a daily basis to make the management of the challenge as easy as possible. We created a Slack channel that we called #Wellness we managed all communication and announcements for the team and participants.

Participation

Your wellness challenge is only as good as the amount of participation you can muster from the team with it. The following tips are what we would recommend to get your team excited about your challenge, and to garner participation. You can get as creative as you want with how you try to keep people engaged and motivated.

Make a bold announcement. Send out an announcement via email or whatever channel that is sure to be seen by everyone on the team. We actually created a quick overview video to make it more personalised and easier for everyone to understand how to participate.

Be sure to include:

  • The Why: Explain why keeping healthy is important and why your company decided to do a remote wellness challenge.
  • The “WIIFM”: Describe why people will want to participate (any incentives).
  • The How: Explain how people can sign up for the challenge.
  • The When: Explain the details of the challenge, timeframe, check-ins, and updates.

Make it super easy for people to sign-up. For those on the fence about participating in the challenge, you want to make it as easy as possible for them to opt-in. Consider creating a Google Form with a simple name field for signup. We also included t-shirt size in our form since we knew that we’d be sending out wellness challenge t-shirts.

Have regular check-ins. It’s important to consistently check-in with participants to keep everyone accountable and excited about the challenge. Having a few challenge activities that require team communication can help with this. For example, “Post 3 things you’re grateful for in the #wellness- Slack channel (must be different each day).” It’s also good to have a check-in schedule by the leaders of the challenge like the following:

  • Host a mid-challenge check-in Zoom call. This is particularly important if you choose a relatively long timeline for your challenge, like 10 or 12 weeks.
  • Publish weekly leaderboard updates.  Again, this is a key point to keep people interested in the challenge and prevent them from falling out of their newfound habits.

Don’t be too strict. This is something that is designed to make everyone’s lives a little bit better – so it should be fun!

Encourage friendly competition with prizes for winners.  Winning prizes shouldn’t be the main motivation for participating in the challenge but offering some prizes can make it more exciting and engaging.

Feedback

As with any employee engagement activity or event, it’s important to get feedback from team members to make each event better than the last. We did two things to wrap-up our challenge, and provide a way for the team to tell us how they liked it.

Host a wrap-up party. A fun party will be a great chance to celebrate the winners and talk about how everyone has grown over the duration of the event. At our wrap-up party we also had everyone wear their wellness challenge t-shirt and we also announced prizes and prize winners at that time.

Send a feedback survey.  After one challenge is complete, ask for feedback so you can put on an even better event next time around. We did this in another simple Google Form with questions about what they liked about the challenge, and what we could do better. Based on our survey results, all participants said they would participate in another wellness challenge again, so I’d say it was pretty successful overall.

It’s pretty easy to put on a successful wellness challenge. There is some planning that is involved to get it off the ground, and a little management along the way, but it’s nothing you can’t handle. And, if you are able to have a positive impact on the lives of your employees, it will be more than worth it. Here’s to a memorable event!

Author bio: Matt Buchanan, Co-Founder and Chief Growth Officer at Service Direct

Photo credit: iStock


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