Setting up an organized challenge in the workplace can help to assist employees into making positive changes that can reduce their health risks and enhance daily productivity at work and after work.
Employers and employees can get together to have fun while working towards group wellness activities. Challenges can have benefits that include decreased absenteeism and reduced health insurance claims and costs. Participation in a well organized Weight Loss Challenge will show participants how to improve eating habits, increased exercise participation, and overall awareness of the importance of daily activity.
Planning Stages of Your Office Weight Loss Challenge
Generally there are only 3 parts of planning the challenge before implementation.
Part 1: Make sure the boss is on board with it.
Most businesses are ok with group and team-building activities among the workers. Usually they want to know the details first. Be sure to put together a comprehensive playbook of how the challenge will be organized, with clear idea of who will be running it and how.
It will be up to the organizer to make sure the company won’t be open to liability. You may need to meet with the corporate legal department first. Make all this clear in your presentation to the boss.
Once you have the approval you will then have the added motivation of being able to communicate to the employees that the CEO or Senior Management is endorsing the program.
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Important components of your presentation to management can include a clear goal and purpose for the challenge. Coming up with a “mission statement” that clearly represents the purpose and goals will be helpful. Management will also want to know how disruptive the challenge will be. Be honest when presenting “changes” to the scheduled workday while expressing that the compromise will result in an overall positive outcome.
Management will need you to check back with them as you get further into the planning stages with time and cost investments required.
Part 2: Choose your support team wisely.
Even though the challenge will be at the workplace, and now you have the initial support of management, you still need to be selective when choosing your helpers.
Organizing a corporate weight loss challenge can be more of a headache than you’d bargained for. If any of the people you assign tasks to drop the ball, the whole challenge can become a corporate-wide disappointment. One way to avoid this is by asking for volunteers for the various assignments. That way you will know they have a vested interest in being part of a successful challenge. Depending on the size of the company and the number of anticipated participants and teams, you should organize a committee of at least one person (aside from you) for every 30 – 50 participants.
The amount of time required to get the challenge organized and off the ground will be greater in the beginning phases. After the foundational logistics are in place, the average time investment will be about 1 – 3 hours per week, depending on the role of the individual.
Part 3: How much will a Weight Loss Challenge cost?
The budget needed to host your workplace challenge will depend largely on how intrinsic the challenge is going to be. Aside from prizes there are also several support initiatives to consider. One sneaky way to get more money for your challenge idea from management is to see what you can slip under the corporate “Extended Health Benefit” programs. Contact your HR support or employee health benefits coordinator to see what the company health provider has to offer.
You may find there is money sitting in the employee health budget for products like DeskCycles or Desk Bikes. These make great workplace fitness equipment. Outfitting your office as an “Active Office” keeps the challenge benefits going for the remainder of the year.
Other places for free help includes dietary information and meal planning. Just contact your local grocery store to see if they have a food-prep dietitian that will demonstrate to your workgroup. Many grocery stores have this feature and will also provide nutrition counseling, cooking classes, as well as promo coupons.
Finding personal trainers for free is easy too. Many personal trainers will be happy to provide fitness assessments and free classes for the business exposure.
Prizes cost money but you can get free stuff there too. Contact local businesses to see if they want to donate a coupon or product. We do 😀 ! Anyone who signs up for our Weight Loss Challenge Organizers ToolKit gets over $1500 in FREE exercise equipment and fitness programs for your prizes and awards!
You can offset “hard” costs by charging coworkers to participate. The money collected can go toward the cost to organize, promote, and the purchase of prizes. You can incentivize this by showing how their prizes will grow as the number of participants increase.
Hard costs can include the cost of making posters, designing and printing t-shirts, branded water bottles etc. Although branding shirts and SWAG isn’t necessary, it does act as a good participation incentive for both the company and its employees.