This article is written by Agnes Pagán, Human Resources Generalist at Wellsource. In her role, Agnes is charged with fostering a positive and healthy company culture by recruiting, engaging, and developing Wellsource employees. This work includes cultivating an upbeat atmosphere, planning company-wide events, and administering Wellsource wellness program—certainly challenging tasks this year with the COVID-19 pandemic and an entirely remote workforce. In this article, Agnes details the work that goes into planning an annual wellness day despite the hurdles, and what it means for the Wellsource company culture to continue this tradition.
For more than twenty years, Wellsource has held an annual Wellness Day. It started simple enough, as a day dedicated to taking a Wellsource health risk assessment, doing some light physical fitness tests, and gathering biometric information like blood pressure and heart rate. We spend every other day of the year building assessments that are designed to improve health outcomes for our clients and their populations, so it only felt natural to take one day and practice what we preach.
In the years since, Wellness Day has become a pillar of our company culture, a highly anticipated day filled with fun activities and lots of team building. It has evolved to include costume contests, fitness classes, and DIY projects. It’s a day of the year that our employees look forward to as their chance to bond, get exercise, and promote wellness across our company.
Every year, the Wellsource team holds a wellness day—complete with a themed costume contest—to encourage group participation.
Why Host an Annual Wellness Day?
If you were to ask a Wellsource employee what Wellness Day is, they would probably answer that it’s a fun day they look forward to every year. They might mention the anticipation and curiosity as the theme is announced and the activities are planned. Some might even say it’s a day they get to spend having fun—and getting paid to do so.
From my perspective, Wellness Day goes beyond company culture and completed health screenings and HRAs. It’s a way to encourage true engagement in health habits, one we have seen build over time. And while it is an investment to dedicate this kind of time to our employee wellness program, that investment pays off over time. Some examples we’ve seen at Wellsource this year:
- In the last quarter, we had 100% participation in our employee wellness incentive program.
- Our 2020 Wellness Day, despite the hurdles presented by COVID-19, had a huge participation rate, with multiple individuals sharing how much fun they had.
- …and earlier this month, Wellsource won an Oregon’s Healthiest Employer Award for the 7th year in a row.
It has been really rewarding to see our wellness program thriving during a time when our offices are closed and employees are working remotely.
Planning An Engaging Wellness Day During the COVID-19 Pandemic
How do you host a Wellness Day—or really any engaging wellness program– while observing social distancing recommendations and accommodating remote employees?
This year, wellness programs face a big challenge in creating engaging health and wellbeing programs while still practicing social distancing. This year we have a few virtual events like yoga and our famous costume contest. Unfortunately, this year we were unable to play our traditional kickball game, but we made up for and instead had a scavenger hunt that allowed employees to get competitive, but maintain safe distances from each other.
To plan any successful event, you must first understand the folks in attendance and build a day that offers something for everyone. Not everyone will participate in everything, but as long as there is one thing each person can get excited about, it is a successful event.
For example, this year’s Wellness Day at Wellsource featured physical, social, and creative aspects both virtually and in an in-person, outdoor and socially distanced local park—mixing it up with both physical, social, and solo activities throughout the day.
Virtual Costume Contest: 2020 Wellsource Wellness Day
The virtual portion of the day included:
- Taking the Wellsource Health Risk Assessment
- A costume contest via videoconference
- Group Yoga
Socially Distanced Scavenger Hunt: 2020 Wellsource Wellness day
The in-person, socially distanced portion of the day featured:
- The opportunity to see each other’s costumes in person
- A scavenger hunt in a park near our office
- DIY arts and craft project
Wellness Day at Wellsource may have looked a little different this year, but the foundation of having a day to focus on health has stayed the same. Wellness day allows us to spend time getting to know our peers on a deeper level. It strengthens our culture, and it builds a strong team. It is an investment in our people and confirms our commitment to building products that share our vision of a healthier population.
You cannot be in the market selling health and wellbeing software to help others and not have the same intentions for your own staff. At Wellsource, we’ve found that creating a culture around healthy and happy employees leads to our success.
Are you looking for more ways to building meaningful engagement with your wellness initiatives? Download our HRA Engagement Toolkit for communication templates, general best practices, and 10 out-of-the-box ideas for promoting your HRA and building engagement.