The Benefits of an 8-Week Wellness Challenge

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Spark up results in your greatest asset - your team

You can have the most innovative product anyone has seen, the most cutting-edge technology and the most impressive office digs, but there is nothing more important than having a healthy, happy team leading the charge.  As a business owner, I know this to be crystal clear because for years, I was a corporate health coach for several leading companies in the automotive, tech and medical fields.  

What I experienced is that when employers prioritize their greatest asset – their people – that is when the magic happens.  They start experiencing better employee relations, a healthier work environment, reductions in absenteeism, and increased productivity.  There can also be a significant monetary ROI, including reduced turnover,  injuries and health-related leaves, insurance and worker’s compensation costs.  The synergistic side effects are priceless as your corporate image and brand take on a whole new level of efficiency and the unmistakable ‘vibe’ of your company becomes one that is palpable.  

While there are several workplace strategies that can be effective in jumpstarting wellness, including healthy lunch and learns from expert speakers, free fitness classes and on-site health coaching, the strategy that I have found to be the most effective is an ‘8-week Challenge.’  The concept works so well because it introduces a bit of ‘healthy competition’ to fire up the team and rewards employees for their successes based on a set of wellness goals. 8 weeks seems to be the perfect length because it is enough time for before and after results to take shape and to keep employee’s attention and interest.

Optimally, the program is introduced by identifying a baseline of tests and measurements, including blood pressure, cholesterol/lipid profile, BMI and limb/waist/hip measurements.  Additionally, it’s very effective to introduce a 15-minute wellness session where a coach consults with each employee to set realistic goals for the 8-weeks so they are set up for success. The most impactful results were obtained by introducing healthy eating habits to employees in the form of online content, books, recipes and eating plans, followed by movement, sleep and stress management changes.

Prizes can be awarded for a variety of different benchmarks, including weight loss, inches lost, lowered baseline tests and lowered BMI.  To keep the excitement sparking, employees can be rewarded for completing modules in an online program and sharing their progress, best attitude. being a great accountability partner and compliance to the program, since not everyone’s goal will be to lose weight or inches. These rewards can be in the form of gift cards to healthy eating establishments and grocery stores, massage and wellness spas, or clothing.  Grand prizes can then be offered to overall winners in various categories.  

 

The best part of an 8-week challenge is it can be repeated throughout the year with seasonal content, varied themes and incentives with progressive results being witnessed by employees over time.  The win-win is that everyone will reap the benefits of improved health and wellness, no matter what their personal goals may be.  As an employer, there is nothing more important than nurturing your greatest asset – your people – to shine brightly.

Mareya Ibrahim is a certified holistic health coach, chef and the author of “Eat Like You Give a Fork: The Real Dish on Eating to Thrive.”  She is also the creator of “Eat to Thrive,” an 8-week Challenge centered on practical, healthy eating habits.  

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