Writing about FitPros’ learnings from 2018 wouldn’t be complete without first thanking the exceptional HR teams and partner brokers who have invited FitPros to support their wellness efforts. So here’s to the People Operations teams who take time to listen to their staff’s needs, the HR Directors who study claim reports to learn where their staff can be most supported, and the Wellbeing Managers who spearhead a space for employees to be vulnerable and share what tools will enable them be more productive. On behalf of the FitPros Family we thank you for allowing us to play a role that impacts the lives of your hard working teams.
Root Cause Solutions
In preparation for writing this blog I asked my teammates what they felt were good learnings in 2018. Jasmine, a critical member of the FitPros Operations team recognized that the most well attended and influential programs took place when clients gave us hard-truth answers as to why they wanted a talk or fitness class.
By asking our clients specific questions and getting real answers, we are able to dial into the root cause and design a program to solve real challenges. Our speakers and teachers are able to utilize this information and tailor their talk or class to ensure it is relevant and constructive for employees. For example, one company asked for a Mindful Food Choices Talk and a talk on the Importance of Sleep. It was a stressful time for the company as they were closing many deals, launching new products, opening more offices, and much more. They needed real tools to help them through a time where the importance of these basics where being overlooked. Another company noticed that their mental health claims were growing so the FitPros team proposed regular meditations and mental health discussion panels that engaged their staff by answering real-life questions and provided ongoing expert led stress outlets. We just love partnering with HR Managers like this who are dialed in to the needs of their staff and take such deep care to help teams manage stress at work.
Technology to Engage
We bring seven fitness classes per week, among other programs, to one of the fastest growing tech companies in the world. They are a people centric company that’s highly innovative, strategic and thoughtful. They have invested with FitPros for 3 years running with an annual program that is consistent and engaging. We’ve proudly seen attendance for all programs increase as internal marketing and word of mouth has spread within the company. Through this partnership, we learned the value of tracking attendance to help our HR contact show tangible results to her finance and executive team. But the tracking was tedious analog pen and paper, definitely not befitting a leading tech company. So we laid the groundwork for an app based class attendance and scheduling platform that will give employees quick access to their scheduled programs and automated attendance tracking for HR teams. After much testing, we’re excited to roll this out in early in early 2019 to enhance employee engagement and empower HR with results oriented data so they can make great decisions supporting the wellness of their teams.
Consistent Programs Are Key
A big learning for us in 2018 was to encourage companies who are new to on-site wellness to launch programs slow and steady. And, when you start scheduling fitness classes and wellness events, be consistent with them. Even if your budget allows for just one activity a month, lock the date in the calendar and allow employees to plan for it.
Keeping in mind the old adage that it takes six impressions for someone to remember a new marketing message. We’ve learned that it’s critical to pair internal marketing along with wellness programs to raise awareness and help maintain engagement. Another idea is to play off of the day of the week to help employees remember that something fun is taking place; for example, internal ‘Wellness Wednesday’ or ‘Fitness Friday’ as language to inspire attendance. FitPros leads this effort with custom in-office marketing materials, email campaigns, and even custom branded swag to help get the word out.
Lastly, sending an office-wide calendar invite is the secret sauce. If you want employees to show up, then help them remember that it is happening. If you can get an executive or high level manager to send the invite that’s even more impactful.
I’m sure they adore you, but I’m also confident that HR emails don’t have the highest open rates. Far too often we hear HR say, “...I’ve sent several emails reminding them…” or “adding an event to their calendar is obtrusive.” It’s not. I’ve quoted employees from those same companies who’ve said, “I wish it was on my calendar”. Employees can always chose to delete it. They are lucky to have such great benefits at their fingertips. Be proud for supporting them! You’re making an investment in their health, do everything in your power to make these programs accessible to them.
Another programs that FitPros can support is the nomination of wellness champions or ‘Wellness Warriors’ as we like to call them. One successful concept is to select one person in every department within your company to meet once a month. At this monthly meet-up, the group will brainstorm ways to spread the wellness word and get their colleagues interested and active.
Small incentives such as offering complimentary massages or classes at a nearby studio/gym could drive participation. Our FitPros Wellness Warrior program entails one of our certified trainers working with your employees for 5 hours per month to establish activities that help educate them on wellness topics and increase internal engagement. Our trainers have vast experience in physical fitness, nutrition and team building. In addition to having a direct pulse on what your employees want, they will take the pressure off of you to plan every little activity. You can think of your Wellness Warrior FitPro Trainer as an on-demand, experienced, fitness professional.
Unhealthy Trends Are on The Rise
The risk of unhealthy, disengaged employees is greater now than ever. With ever growing distractions on social media, always in touch friends and family via text messages, and lack of physical activities, the opportunity for unfocused, unhealthy employees is everywhere. Gallup reports that 85% of employees are not actively engaged at work. “The economic consequences of this global "norm" are approximately $7 trillion in lost productivity.”
If you want your staff to truly implement habit changes that will keep them healthier (less sick days and more productive!), and happier (dedication to their workplace and their team) then designing a long-term, sustainable wellness education program is imperative.
We Appreciate You!
We’re grateful to all of the workplaces, brokers, and property management companies that invite FitPros to bring health and fitness programs that help retain and recruit the best teams, while impacting their long term health and happiness. Thank you and here’s to a healthy and prosperous 2019!