Corporate wellness programs can be effective when done well. While reviews have been mixed, companies that offer incentives as part of their wellness program see a 20% increase in participation. If you’re an organization looking to bolster your wellness program, consider these fitness incentive ideas to support your employee’s health. 

Enrollment reward

Encourage participation in your wellness program by offering an enrollment gift. Your offering can be as simple as a t-shirt or water bottle or as generous as a fitness tracker or gym membership. While enrolling doesn’t ensure participation, it helps your employees make a small commitment to take the next step. Participation rewards are the most inclusive fitness incentive idea and friendly to all your employees.  

Friendly competition

Some of your employees will be motivated by competition. Keeping a leaderboard for a step challenge for example is a fitness incentive idea that will encourage ongoing participation for the duration of the challenge. Team competitions also help build camaraderie as your employees work together to get fit. If you choose this option, take note of who participates and who doesn’t, since only those who are already motivated to get fit may participate, leaving those who need it most on the sidelines.  

Earned rewards

While some people are intrinsically motivated by the feel good sensation they experience after a workout, others are motivated by extrinsic rewards. Tangible gifts, like monetary rewards or sports equipment, are effective fitness incentive ideas. Other incentives, like extra PTO or flexible schedules, can be equally motivational as part of your wellness program. Consider offering both progress rewards along the way and completion rewards to encourage ongoing participation in your initiatives.

Create communities

For your employees who prefer participation over competition, create like minded communities around a shared activity. Offer a walking club before work or weekend bike rides on your local paths. This fitness incentive idea will appeal to those who enjoy gathering with co-workers socially and will build better teamwork, reduce absenteeism, and increase productivity in your organization. Social wellbeing is an important part of corporate wellness programs.

Accessible fitness

With the pandemic subsiding, gym memberships are once again an option. Including a free or reduced-cost membership to a local health club is a valuable perk for some employees. Encourage use of this membership by offering rewards or health care discounts to those who are regular users. Consider offering a free streaming service to those who prefer at-home workout programs.

Encourage healthy nutrition

Without good nutrition, your best efforts to encourage employee health won’t be effective in the long term. Combine physical fitness with healthy eating for a fitness incentive idea with greater impact. Stock your cafeteria with healthy options or offer healthy snacks in your break room. Make water easily accessible to encourage good hydration throughout the day. If you offer a weight loss program to your employees, make sure to choose one that leads to sustainable results instead of a short-term fix. 

With some creativity and effort, fitness incentive ideas abound. Get ahead of the game and check out our article on wellness planning for 2022