EE-Engagement-Fitness-1At InfoMart, we have lost the equivalent of entire people, hundreds of pounds of unwanted weight, by jump-starting each New Year with a companywide weight-loss competition. Our Biggest Loser program, inspired by the popular television show, literally shapes our personnel, motivating employees to lose those unwanted pounds.

Every January, people have the opportunity to weigh in with the HR department.  Since they already know your salary, performance reviews, and personal issues, why not add your weight to the secrets your HR holds?

Through years of experience, we have molded our Biggest Loser competition into a wellness program that motivates employees to form healthy habits and lose weight.  In addition to the traditional benefits of a corporate wellness program, there is great value in the personal connection a company makes with an employee through such a program.

Recognizing and caring about a major issue that affects most people in the workplace, such as weight loss, bonds employees to the company and is one of the reasons why InfoMart has been recognized as a great place to work.

Over half of the company signs up to participate in the Biggest Loser each year, and not just those who want to lose weight.  Many employees share in the experience as motivators and mentors, lending tips and leading lunchtime exercise programs from yoga to kettlebell lifting.

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Employees compete individually for cash prizes with awards for both male and female winners.  After years of the men always winning, we realized that there needed to be a division in the competition between men and women. Men have a different metabolism and, for the $250 first prize, we had men beefing up over the holidays and slimming down once the New Year started.

To further encourage employee engagement and participation, employees can win two years in a row as long as they use their last year’s end weight as this year’s start weight. Experience has also taught us that the Biggest Loser competition has to be based on the percentage of body weight lost, and not on pounds.

The competition lasts for three months to give everyone enough time to create and maintain good habits.  We weigh in halfway through the competition as well as at the end, and we award the winners for their progress.

During those three months, we have company activities to motivate and assist employees in losing weight. This year, we provided a weekly yoga class every Thursday afternoon and encouraged everyone to participate. Even after 3 months, employee participation remained constant!

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Each month, we’ve held a different fitness challenge open to everyone. For example, we started the first day of the month with 10 squats and increased by 5 each day. By the end of the month, participants completed 100 squats! We’ve also held plank and push-up challenges this year.

On Veggie Wednesdays, we provide platters of vegetables with creative low-calorie dips. Vegetables people normally would not buy are provided, giving everyone an opportunity to try something new. Fruity Fridays give employees a sweet, healthy treat and another opportunity to try new diet-friendly foods.

Additional activities include special speakers, emailed hints and recipes, and a dedicated page on the company intranet with links to calorie counters and weight loss programs, just to name a few.  Education efforts seek to help our staff identify healthier food choices and high-calories alternatives.

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During the whole Biggest Loser process, aside from learning to make better food choices and forming exercise habits, employees learn a lot about one another.  Hungry, snippy, and in the throes of sugar withdrawal, you tend to become like family and form a closer bond.

Each year, we lose hundreds of pounds of unwanted weight and gain greater self-esteem.  The cherry on our low-fat ice cream is the camaraderie created among employees and a stronger commitment to an organization that cares.

For more ideas, Check out my blog: 4 P’s to Engaging Your Employees in Organizational Health.

Engaged employees improve your bottom line. Here are some other ideas to engage your employees.

How do you motivate your employees to be well? Let me know on social media.

ABOUT TAMMY COHEN:

In 1989, Cohen founded InfoMart, a multi-million dollar pre-employment screening company that provides services to Fortune 500 companies nationwide. InfoMart has numerous “Best Place to Work” awards from various organizations. As a recognized expert in the employment screening industry, Cohen is often referred to as “The Queen of Screen” and was influential in the founding of the screening industry’s first trade association, the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS). Cohen is actively involved in a number of business and civic organizations and has received numerous personal honors, including a commendation in the 152nd Congressional Record, the Entrepreneur of the Year award from YWCA of the USA, an Enterprising Woman of the Year Award from Enterprising Women, and the Phenomenal Women Award from the Siegel Institute.

ABOUT INFOMART:

InfoMart is an industry leader in background screening services, providing businesses the information they need to make well-informed hiring decisions. With more than 26 years in business, InfoMart is a pioneer in developing innovative technology and screening services, from criminal history searches to verifications of employment. Accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS), a designation earned by less than 10% of the industry, InfoMart has been recognized on Workforce Magazine’s Hot List of Background Screening Providers for 10 consecutive years. The company prides itself on its dedication to customers, innovation, and accurate reporting. For more information about InfoMart, please visit www.infomart-usa.com or call (770) 984-2727.

This article was originally posted ahttps://www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-motivate-employees-eat-well-get-fit-tammy-cohen-phr-shrm-cp?trk=mp-reader-card.