When it comes to employee wellness programs, one of the keys to success is mastering the engagement factor. It is one thing to provide employees with services to better their health, but at the end of the day, if they are not taking advantage of these services, it is a lost cause. So, when evaluating what you offer to employees, you must put yourself in their shoes and ask “Can I see myself doing this?”.
There is no doubt that one effective way employers can drive engagement is by offering their employees different types of incentives. Whether it be completing screenings for lower deductibles, filling out surveys for gift cards, or getting flu shots for extra PTO, there is no doubt the reward system works. However, what if you could reward your employees by offering a benefit that they would want, therefore, driving engagement the natural way?
Let’s zoom into platforms aimed at getting employees moving specifically. There are gym reimbursements, on-site classes offerings, and step challenges, all of which can be effective in garnering employee engagement. Typically, those engaged would include the individuals who are active regardless of their employer’s offerings. The true challenge is moving the needle on historically inactive employees, to save on the back end. But how do you get those employees who are typically inactive to become active?
The answer: flexible fitness.
Flexible fitness, group fitness classes specifically, has become more popular as of late, and for good reason. A variety of classes means more choices, instructor-led classes means less guess work, group participation means more social support, and creating social connections means more individual accountability.
Let’s dive deeper.
Think about hosting a party. You give your guests the option to choose between cheese and pepperoni pizza, lemonade and iced tea, chips and pretzels, and several options of desserts. Why do you do that? Because you know that different people have different preferences and as your guests, you want them to have their favorite option presented. Group fitness classes are the best way to give employees access to their favorite options. One employee might be an avid yogi while the other might love throwing barbells around in CrossFit, either way, you can play into your employee’s individual preferences by offering their top choices. (Wellness Personalization Ignites Employee Engagement)
We all have different barriers that might inhibit us from trying something new. For me, it’s headstands and the fear of breaking my face, but for others it might be walking into a big-box gym and having no idea what exercises to do or how to execute them properly.
One of the beauties of group fitness classes is that they are all led by instructors. That means that those individuals whose fear of not knowing what to do, which might prevent them from doing anything at all, now have a solution. The instructor will tell them what exercises to do, and exactly how to do it, ensuring the workout is safe and effective. For those who know what to do in the gym, attending group fitness classes is a pleasure as they do not have to design their own workout, therefore expending less brain power. Let’s face it, after a long hard day at work, shutting your brain off and sweating it out is the perfect rewarding experience.
For the most part, humans are social beings. We create our own network of friends to share experiences, learn from, and laugh with. So why not add ‘sweat’ to that list?
Working out in a group provides a built-in social network providing a friendly, supportive environment. Kettle bell swings after a mile run are much more manageable with a teammate there to pat you on the back to keep going, or make you laugh while holding a plank. At the end of the day, if it isn’t fun, people are less likely to include exercise in their regular routine. Give them an enjoyable experience, and they will come back for more.
With all pursuits of fitness programs and workout regimens, there will always be those days where internal motivation runs low. We say we will go for a run after work, but somewhere in between tying up your shoes and heading out the door, you find yourself on the couch watching the latest episode of The Voice. It happens.
Group fitness classes can help remedy these low-motivation days to get you started. First off, you have to sign up for the class prior to attending, providing a higher level of commitment to working out. On top of that, because of the connections you’ve made socially with attendees of the class, you feel a certain level of responsibility to show up and participate with the team. Nor do you want to have to hear the grief from your teammates next time you do show up for class. Ultimately, joining a group fitness class adds to the promise you made to yourself to achieve your fitness goals by also promising to embark on your mission with others.
When it comes to fitness offerings, it is important to ensure engagement by offering employees something that they are genuinely excited about. Group fitness classes are a great way to personalize fitness, and access to multiple group fitness classes are an even better way. With a wide variety of fitness styles, instructor-led training, social networks built-in, and higher accountability, group fitness classes are a great way to reward your employees. Give them options, and watch your engagement soar!