Wellness Challenge Ideas to Keep Employees Engaged This Summer

Summer is here! Although, if you hadn’t noticed the change of seasons, you’re hardly alone. Time has been difficult to track this year. With mandatory stay-at-home orders, school closings, and the cancellation of seasonal events, these past few months have felt unmoored from the calendar’s customary flow.

With all that’s going on in the world, it may be more difficult than ever to engage your employees in wellness challenges. But it’s worth persisting: Wellness challenges can help your employees take their minds off the troubling times we live in and recharge for whatever lies ahead. The key is to choose challenges that represent the six dimensions of wellbeing: emotional, financial, occupational, social, physical, and purpose.

Here are six of our favorite summer wellness challenges. Each of these activities can be done from home while social distancing.

6 Ways to Celebrate National Employee Wellness Month

June is National Employee Wellness Month, and what a strange month it will be. Typically, this time of year is all about finally getting out of doors after a long winter and rainy spring. It’s about going on weekend trips and family vacations for some much-deserved rest and relaxation. Summer is, usually, the season of wellness.

This year is different. Workplaces have been closed for months. Access to gyms, parks, and beaches has been restricted. Even as some businesses and public facilities reopen, people are anxious about going out again—a full 15% of Americans indicated on a May 26 Statista poll that they were afraid to leave their house. Many are fretting about the economic toll the COVID-19 pandemic has taken on their families while also worrying about the virus itself. Indeed, as of April, the lion’s share of Americans are either very or somewhat concerned about the virus.

Emotionally, your employees are on edge. Physically, they’re worn out. Is now even the right time to celebrate wellness in the workplace?

3 Ways Positive Psychology Boosts Employee Empowerment and Mindset Change

"What does it mean to live a life worth living? Philosophers, artists, and everyday people have wrestled with this question for centuries, but only in the past few decades has the field of psychology taken it up,” shares Stella Grizont, positive psychology expert and speaker. 

Around the turn of the 21st century, Martin Seligman, at the time the president of the American Psychological Association, lamented the “exclusive focus on pathology” in his field and proposed an alternative approach he termed “positive psychology.”

According to Seligman and his collaborator Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, positive psychology is “the scientific study of positive human functioning and flourishing on multiple levels that include the biological, personal, relational, institutional, cultural, and global dimensions of life.”

If we think of traditional psychology as helping people overcome their mental health issues to improve their functioning, positive psychology aims at empowering people not just to achieve functionality, but to thrive.

5 Ways Employees Can Manage Financial Stress

We are all living in undeniably stressful times. A deadly pandemic is sweeping the globe, people are holed up in their homes with no real sense of when normal life will resume, and every economic indicator–from the stock market to the unemployment numbers–is setting off alarm bells.

However, even before the coronavirus pandemic–and even during a strong economy–Americans were stressed about their finances. Surveys show a large percentage of Americans routinely rank money woes as the top stressor in their lives.

3 Ways to Support Employees Returning to the Workplace

Whether it comes next month or several months from now, it’s going to happen. The stay-at-home regulations will be lifted, the threat of the coronavirus will recede, and public health officials will deem it safe for Americans to go back to work.

It’s important to understand that going back to the office won’t feel like business as usual for many of your employees. But planning now for the day you finally reopen your doors–however soon or far off that may be–can mitigate confusion and stress among your employees and make for a smooth transition.

The Role of Mindfulness in a Wellness Program

Even though many companies have temporarily closed their office doors and are operating with a remote workforce, work stress hasn’t disappeared. Indeed, it may have gotten worse. Back-to-back Zoom meetings, homeschooling, an overflowing email inbox, and working late nights once the kids go to bed can add up to frazzled employees trying to balance the demands of work and home.

Luckily, employers have access to a tool that has the power to help employees manage stress, increase productivity, and improve their overall sense of well-being, while lowering healthcare expenses and reducing absenteeism. Even better, it hardly costs a thing.

Magic? Nope. It’s mindfulness.

Measuring the ROI of Your Corporate Wellness Program

Is a Plant-Based Diet the Way to Wellness?

Meat has been a staple of the human diet for as long as there have been humans. But do we really need meat? Can fruits, vegetables, beans, and other food that grows out of the soil provide all the nutrients and energy we need to survive and even thrive?

A growing body of evidence suggests that shifting to a plant-based diet can result in major benefits to your health–and the environment.

Contemplating that shift, however, can raise a lot of questions.

5 Reasons to Include Emotional Wellness in Employee Wellness Programs

Eating better, working out, getting more sleep … taking care of our physical self is relatively straightforward (even if it’s often easier said than done).

Achieving good emotional health may be a bit more complicated—but it’s just as important as achieving good physical health. And yet, emotional wellness often lands squarely on the back burner, particularly in the workplace. Why isn't emotional health more of a priority for overall employee wellness?

Helping Employees Strengthen Emotional Resilience

Stress is a fact of life. Whether it’s stress caused by personal issues, work demands, or global events, we all experience some form of negative stress in our lives. Indeed, about half of Americans report experiencing a “major stressful event” in the previous year. Fortunately, your workplace can be a surprisingly effective force for good when it comes to reducing your employees’ stress levels. Not only can you make sure your workplace isn’t unnecessarily stressful, but you can use your corporate wellness program to help employees bounce back faster and more fully when stress—from any source—does occur. 

How? By helping employees strengthen their emotional resilience.