The Fitness Challenge Handbook

Launching The Challenge

The key to a successful fitness challenge is participation

Launching The Challenge

Now that the relatively calm process of creating the challenge is complete, you can get ready to start the launch phase. Launching a successful fitness challenge requires generating interest among employees, inviting potential participants to join and then optionally organizing them into teams.

Generating Interest

The difference between a successful wellness program and one that is simply mediocre is participation. A wellness program with high participation rates will have much higher return on investment than one with low participation. Therefore, it is crucial to get as many employees involved as possible.
Ideally, your wellness challenge will be integrated into your overall health and wellness strategy and communicated along-side wellness newsletters, health risk assessments, health care enrollment, etc. If not, it may require a little more effort to get the word out on the new challenge.
Overcoming skepticism is very important when starting a new program. Therefore, challenge details should be straightforward including everything from the challenge mode to the challenge duration and any awards involved. Try to keep it simple if this is the first employee wellness challenge launched by your company. It is important to start out on the right foot and have positive results. After that, word-of-mouth will be the driving force behind your engagement strategy.
Try some the following methods to help generate interest in the new employee challenge:
  • An introduction email to the entire population your wellness program covers
  • An interoffice flyer delivered to all potential participants
  • A posting in the break rooms. Couple this with a large fruit basket and invitation to partake
  • Word-of-mouth: tell everyone who comes into your department about the challenge and ask them to tell their co-workers
  • Greet employees in the lobby to spread the word
It is a good idea to get upper-management involved in the challenge as well. This reinforces management’s commitment to the program and encourages others to join. However, it is probably also a good idea to exclude them from anything other than participation awards that might be offered. In other words, your CEO should not be winning the gift card, day off or any other major prize. This can be done quietly with only the executive’s knowledge.
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