Wellness Programs Matter. Here’s How We Set Them Up for Success

How We Do at Kazoo 3 min read

If we’ve learned one thing over the past year, it’s that health and wellness are foundational not only to personal quality of life, but also to organizational health. Now, employers who really care about their employee experience are looking for new ways to show it by ramping up the way they invest in employee health and wellness programs.

Besides being good for employees, health and wellness is good for business, too. Healthy employees miss fewer days of work, are more productive, and are more willing and able to contribute their highest self to their job. 

Are you looking for some new ways to level up your wellness programs this year? Here are the top 3 things we learned in an interview with Jandee Speegle, Kazoo’s Senior People & Culture Specialist (they/them) about doing just that.

How to set up your wellness program for success

  1. The best way to demonstrate that health and wellness is important to you is to make it easy for employees to take care of themselves during the workday.
  2. To really prioritize health and wellness, creating a system of incentivized behaviors is key.
  3. Don’t forget about mental health!

Want to learn more? Read our interview with Jandee.

Kazoo: Jandee, last time we talked, you had just finished planning our first Fitness Challenge. How did it go, and what inspired you to do a follow-up challenge?

Jandee: The first fitness challenge, which took place last spring, was a great way for us to adjust to the feeling of disruption brought by the pandemic, and to prioritize our health along the way. It went so well! Participation was high, and it helped us to have fun together while we all transitioned to work-from-home life.

So at the beginning of 2021,  we wanted to do it again. This time we made the challenge team-based rather than individual-based. We used the platform Strava again to keep up with each team’s activity, and the team with the most activity for the month won! However, as cheesy as it may sound, we were all winners, because the challenge motivated so many of us to refocus and get the new year started off in a healthy way.

Kazoo: How have the Fitness Challenges fit into your rewards program as a whole? 

Jandee: Our rewards program is all about incentivizing behaviors that make our people — and our company — thrive. We do that by offering Incentives for things that reinforce company values and goals, or healthy behaviors and exercise. Some of those bonuses are about maintaining general health, like getting teeth cleanings, eye exams, a physical or a flu shot, and even keeping your workspace clean. If it makes you healthier, we want you to do it!

Example Incentives for wellness -- complete open enrollment, break a sweat, and volunteer

Since COVID-19 hit, we added some new Incentives. One is called “Break A Sweat,” where employees can earn points daily for 30 mins of cardio. Another is “Take A Walk,” which incentivizes taking breaks and moving throughout the workday. There’s also the “COVID-15,” (a play on the “Freshman 15”) which incentivizes healthy behaviors that combat the pandemic’s stress. Anyone can earn a certain number of points for 1-3 hours of exercise, more for 3-6 hours, or even more for 6+ hours. 

After employees have racked up their Incentives, they can redeem their earned bonuses for things like fun swag and gift cards from the rewards catalog. This year, we added some new wellness-related rewards as options, like an Apple watch and some gym passes.

Want to boost the behaviors that matter?
Learn about Kazoo’s Incentives tool

Kazoo: Is there anything else new you’ve tried in the health and wellness realm? 

Jandee: Yes! We also decided to partner with an Austin-based yoga studio, Flow Yoga, to offer yoga classes during the lunch hour. That’s been another great way to really put our money where our mouth is, and say, “Okay — exercise is important enough that we will give you classes, as well as set aside the time for you to take it.” It’s also been a great way for us to stay connected to small businesses in our community that have been hit hard by the pandemic.

Kazoo: What kinds of plans do you have in the works?

Jandee: One thing we’re discussing seriously is the idea of Incentives that boost mental health. I think it’s obvious why! Moving your body and taking breaks from your screen is a huge part of mental health, but I think there are other elements as well. For some people it could be meditation, seeing a therapist, or just making a point to connect with someone outside of your household once a day. We know how important mental health is, so we’re looking for some actionable ways to make that clear.

Keep reading the How We Do at Kazoo series:

Make wellness a priority

This year more than ever, we all need to de-stress by taking breaks, moving our bodies, and getting outside for fresh air as much as possible. As hard as it is some days to step away from the screen, or get off that couch, making it a priority will make us all better humans and team members.

Curious about how Kazoo can help? Let’s talk! At Kazoo, we’re passionate about bringing together all the tools you need to make work work better for everyone. That’s why the Kazoo Employee Experience Platform brings performance management and recognition and rewards — including Goals, Feedback, Conversations, Recognition, Incentives, and more — into one simple, easy-to-use platform.

If you’re ready to align, connect, and engage your workplace, check out our Kazoo overview. Or, schedule a personalized demo today.

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