What’s it take to engage employees in wellness events?

Working with hundreds of clients in my 5+ years at Walker Tracker I’ve learned that a few small things bring simple joy and excitement to participants:

Acknowledgment – announcing your participants’ successes is huge! Intrinsic motivation is fabulous, but external reinforcement seals the deal.

Prizes – we’ve seen clients give away everything from socks to a car! It doesn’t have to be a lot, just a token of their hard work and efforts. Think about a convention – what draws people to the booths? Most of the time it’s the cool giveaways!

Fun – a fun and engaging event will be attended year after year. Perhaps there’s a scavenger hunt at the Wellness Fair or a local band/comedian there to entertain.

Of course, these three items look very different for unique organizations; consider your company culture and employee needs and wants before bringing anything to the table (or Fair!).

We jump at the chance to meet our clients in person, to learn from their experience and share knowledge from program to program. Last month we had the pleasure of attending one of our clients’ Wellness Fairs. I asked Chris from our Business Development team for some insight into the experience, read on for details.


Taylor: What did you learn from the attendants?

Chris: Wellness is important to the City. They hold multiple challenges per year for their activity program, they have bikes at their buildings (provided by the City) so employees can easily commute places; and the city also offers it’s employees a reimbursement on memberships at a gym that’s right next door to their main offices. The City program organizers (who are also employees) told me this year they’re offering employees a contribution towards the purchase of any activity tracker (that integrates with Walker Tracker) of their choosing for the program. These are not things that are always offered by employers. It’s great to be a part of an all-encompassing Wellness Program that is so robust!


Taylor: Did you get to hear any cool stories or anecdotes from participants of the program?

Chris: One employee I spoke with had recently moved from California and was in a dryer/hotter climate where she lived. There also weren’t as many healthy food options in terms of groceries or restaurants. When she moved to the Portland area she was amazed with how green and accessible it is here, and loved how many good food choices there are. She said the program fits the City’s culture great and is excited to compete in it for the first time in the upcoming challenge.  I also got to meet and talk with the Mayor for a few minutes, and that was pretty cool as well.

Chris Pulley with the Mayor!

Chris Pulley with the Mayor!

Taylor: If you could give one piece of advice to people starting a new fitness/wellness program (whether walking, yoga, nutrition, water, stress, etc.) what would it be?

Chris: Set some type of goal(s) and strive towards that goal. Once it’s set, track and review the progress towards the goal consistently. At Walker Tracker, we believe in Pearson’s Law, ‘that which is measured, improves’. I think this belief is vital towards growth on all levels.


What has been successful at your events?  We’d love to hear from you!