It’s hardly a secret these days: happy employees are productive employees. High morale at the office leads to employees putting more into their work, feeling less sluggish, and even feeling more fulfilled (even during the sometimes slower summer weeks).
Of course, while a person’s morale is often tied to the work their doing, it also comes from a sense of belonging and togetherness they feel with their coworkers. If your employees feel like they’re part of a team that’s working towards a shared goal, they’ll naturally be in better spirits than if they were isolated in front of their computer all week.
As we’ve discussed a couple times earlier, one of the best ways to get a company feeling like a team is to have them participate in a wellness event. This can be something as simple as a step-challenge, regular office Wods, or even our very own Fit Company Challenge.
While virtually all wellness events will have a positive effect on office culture, there are a couple little things that can have a massive effect on a team’s morale and sense of unity along the way.
But don’t worry: we’ve got you covered. Here are three Do’s and Don’ts to maximize camaraderie and boost morale during your next wellness event.
The Right Communication
1) First up, DON’T let all communication about the wellness program or event come from a single “corporate” source and then go silent.
We’ve seen it happen all too often before. A company chooses an event, puts a team together, gives it the green light and then… nothing. No follow-up, no progress, and additionally no motivation. Ouch.
Or even when they do follow-up, sometimes the messages are generic “week 2” emails that miss out on the progress the team’s actually been making.
Instead, DO send out your own personalized weekly updates after the event has launched. Ideally, these will come from team leaders, the sort of captains who know their co-workers and who can speak to them directly.
When crafting these messages, it’s important that the tone remains positive. Use these messages to highlight the team’s progress, send virtual High-Fives and shout-outs to team members who are really crushing it.
If you’re not sure where to begin, find one thing that the team did well that week and highlight it. If they drank more water than usual, boom point that out. If they reached a step target, cheer them on towards the next one. Even if it’s just signalling that one person brought in a healthy lunch on Tuesday, make it a thing to celebrate!
Honestly (and from experience), the difference between helpful and fun weekly communication between the organizers and participants and not having any at all is like night and day. If you want your team to feel invested, show them that so are you.
The Right Motivation
2) Next, DON’T let the only reason your team takes part in a wellness program be to get a mere t-shirt or gift card. Those are hardly incentives to get excited about and they miss the whole point of the challenge – to instill camaraderie and boost morale!
DO instead create your own team goals. Even if there is no material benefit or incentive to hitting the goals, you can still get people to rally together when the challenge is fun and encourages them to cooperate.
Talk about possible goals beforehand with the other organizers and maybe someone from HR who knows the culture really well. What can nudge your people to keep going and push a little harder? There’s gotta be something that’s on people’s minds.
Of course, camaraderie and getting to know the rest of the team better is in itself a motivator. If you can make this into a goal, then you’re already on the route to doubling your return on the wellness program.
The Right Celebration
3) Lastly, once the event or program is over, DON’T let it end with just a simple email from corporate congratulating people and then leaving it at that. While a friendly email is to be expected, if it’s the only send-off then your office is missing a major opportunity for even more camaraderie and morale boosting.
Instead, DO hold a team celebration. Whether it’s a potluck lunch, an afternoon pizza party, or a happy hour Friday evening – just go for it!
Encourage people to drop by, exchange some in-person congratulations by the way of high fives, and share pictures. If you make it a big deal that the team did something great together, they will feel more accomplished and definitely be looking forward to the next event.
And there you have it. If you follow these do’s and avoid these don’ts, you’ll be on the way to
maximizing the benefits your team will be getting out of their wellness program.
Even if you’re already in the middle of a program, it’s never too late to change things around and lighten up the tone. Start sending out those friendly emails that highlight your team’s progress, start encouraging people to work together, and start planning that celebration.
Yours in wellness,
The FC Squad