2013 marked an auspicious year in all aspects of our vaunted agency’s health. Professionally, we had the privilege of speaking at, keynoting, and attending many respected conferences all around the world. aimClear made Inc. 5000 for the second year in a row, and our founder, Marty Weintraub even won US Search Personality of Year!☺
We’ve watched our clients enjoy strong success, which is enough to count our year as a success on its own. New hires and internal training have fostered prosperity in our internal health, and mind-blowing pinot noir has also been known restore our mental faculties at times.
To improve employees’ physical health, this year aimClear kicked-off the 2013 Wellness Challenge. What started as a goal to keep aimClearians active, healthy, and happy – became a journey of wellness enlightenment for some. Read on to learn actionable ways to encourage wellness within your business—because let’s face it, healthy employees are happy employees!
Raise your hand if at one point in your life you have kicked-off the New Year with that (albeit enthusiastically-intentioned) cliché resolution to lose five pounds, “tone up,” eat healthy, or hit the gym more?
Now, raise your hand if you fell off the treadmill trotting, shake chugging, spandex-sporting bandwagon a week later? (It’s okay if you are still wearing the spandex though, no judgment here…)
The philosophy of the wellness challenge was easy enough: Create voluntary month-long challenges or goals that will inspire participants to make healthy decisions for the future.
Wellness challenges were measured on a point-based honor system. Before the beginning of each month, a committee rallied together to deliberate the challenges deriving from national health months, to focusing on eating healthy foods, to getting active outdoors. Being that our office is located in the sometimes-tundra of Duluth, MN, our challenges revolve around the seasons more often than not.
Below are a few examples of challenges from the past year:
- February was National Heart-Healthy Month. Consuming a heart-healthy food item earned you one point/day. Flossing also gave you one point/day.
- July included “Practicing Safe Sun:” Wearing some sort of SPF earned you one point/day. Also, buying local foods from a farmer’s market or grocery store gave you five points/trip.
- October included National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. A one-time self-examination earned you 20 points for the month.
Each month, an Excel-generated Wellness Challenge template was emailed to everyone, and it was the responsibility of the individual to track as often and honestly as possible. In addition to earning daily points for each month’s challenge, there were other opportunities to gross points by:
- Drinking the recommended daily water intake
- Eating a healthy breakfast each day
- Eating daily recommendation of fruits and vegetables
- Losing or gaining weight (dependent on goal)
- Points for every 20 minutes of non-stop physical activity in a day
Once all points were turned in, a winner was announced within the first week of the following month, with a prize being a $50.00 gift certificate to anywhere promoting health (grocery store, spa treatment, workout apparel, etc.).
Keep ‘Em Movin’, Keep ‘Em Groovin’
As previously mentioned, it’s as easy to jump on the bandwagon as it is to fall off. To keep employees engaged and active participants in the challenges, aimClear offered mini incentives throughout the year:
Bonus Points! (Extra Credit for the Adult World)
Turning in your point totals mid-month gave you five bonus points at the end of the month. This aided in reminding those to input their points each day.
Trek Desk / Calendar
aimClear graciously provided both offices with an amazing TrekDesk at the beginning of the year—fully equipped with external monitor and charging station. Demand was so profuse that we needed to create a set of TrekDesk “guidelines,” so that everyone could walk in harmonious (and fair) peace.
Creating a Trek Desk Calendar that synced with everyone’s Google Calendar proved to be a huge success. Walking times were set to 60-minute slots during busy times, and one could claim their time at noon for the following day.
Pilates & Zumba & Christine, OH MY!
At the beginning of the year, aimClear decided we would host a weekly workout at the office every Tuesday night for all staff and their spouses, alternating weeks between Pilates and Zumba. Enter: Christine Stocke, the most badass, motivating, not to mention funniest, instructor + friend we could have ever imagined. Christine arrived every week with an energy that inspired even the orneriest, determined to make this rag-tag group of marketers coordinated and active…and she did just that. We are so thankful to have Christine as part of our aimClear family <3
Rockstar Awards & Other Nifty Gifts
In case you haven’t noticed yet, aimClear has been pretty generous with enhancing the Wellness Challenge in anyway feasible: Quarterly, a Rockstar Award is bestowed upon those who have gone above and beyond the internal challenge parameters (running a race, actively participating in wellness in and outside of work, or just being a rock star employee in general). Prizes were also extended to the second place winner each month (a $25 gift certificate), and to those who turned in their monthly totals with 150+ points (a coffee card).
In honor of the Wellness Challenge, this past year aimClear has gifted employees a fitness mat for their further fitness endeavors, made Wellness Challenge t-shirts, and has continually stocked the kitchen with fruits, vegetables, and other healthy treats.
Stories of Success
What fun would reading about a wellness program be, if there weren’t a success story to go along with it? Throughout the Wellness Challenge, we are elated to share that we’ve had employees who have lost 20+ pounds, quit smoking, expanded their food horizons, and altered their whole way of life for the sake of health.
Our very own Laura P. began the Wellness Challenge in January. She diligently tracked her points each and every day and attended every Tuesday fitness class, never passing up the chance to earn more points. One month into the challenge, Laura made the bold decision to make wellness an ongoing priority in her life. The payoff? Laura P. is now down 70 pounds! 7-0, folks, and she is far from over.
“Truth to be told, getting a workout from Zumba was the first time I found working out could be fun!”-Laura P.
To say that Laura has been anything short of an inspiration this past year is to discredit her. She has pushed us all in means far beyond the Wellness Challenge. Yes, she has dominated everyone in the Wellness Challenge almost every month, but she also is the first volunteer to join you on a walk, or scream “Woo!” in the middle of our 500 crunches. She is a spark of motivation to the aimClear offices, and living proof that investing in your employees will repay in ways that are invaluable.
So there you have it – Our first year of wellness challenges. As many of you know, aimClear is quite a multifaceted agency. There is a distinct joie de vivre surrounding the agency that extends from our internal office environment, to the way we work with clients. We are so fortunate to have superiors and peers who continue to work tirelessly to improve our culture whenever possible.
Have you as a company (or individual) received success from health-related programs at work? Are you currently implementing any wellness activities in your workplace? Please share below — We’d love to hear your stories!