Geek Style – Fitness Trend Pumps up IT Workforce, Top 10 Things to get Staff Motivated

By vmazek
In Cloud
June 19, 2012
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Article By Looks Cloudy

The IT industry has never been known for its health or fitness routines; but a growing trend in the industry seems to be changing the old stereotypes. Companies across the nation are stepping up incentives and programs, to get IT staff out of their chairs and into the gym. Facebook has spawned a new competitive place, for companies to show off, and host their own weight loss and fitness challenges.

IT personnel are putting down the chips, sodas, and candy bars down for healthy alternatives and turning break rooms into full-fledged gyms. The advantages to a healthy workforce can mean big breaks on insurance as well as a happier, more vigorous, staff. Even the ExchangeDefender/ShockeyMonkey/Looks Cloudy team has gotten into the action. Over the last year and a half, I have personally lost almost 100lbs, just by changing my diet and exercise routine. Our very own Hank Newman has also seen success by changing his daily routines, and our leader Vlad Mazek has slowed down the “eating challenge diet “and made healthier choices, all while continuing to run in Florida marathons.

So what can you do to get your staff motivated?

  1. Launch a “Biggest Loser” Competition– Invite staff to participate and create an incentive prize for the top 3 winners
  2. Get Rid of the Junk- Stock break room with healthy alternative snacks and provide free or discounted water bottles to staff
  3. Provide Onsite Gym– Start small, get an Elliptical machine or two, and expand as you can. An alternative is to add a gym membership to your benefits package at $35 per employee per month it is a great investment
  4. Get Involved- It starts with leadership make sure as the company leader you are involved in any fitness efforts
  5. Sponsor Bike to Work Days- Not only is it green but it’s healthy and local media loves to cover local interest stories that involve all of the above
  6. Bring in a Trainer- Have a once or twice a week bootcamp before or after work or bring in a nutritionist to create a meal plan for participants
  7. Utilize Technology- Have staff signup for a website like www.loseit.com or an alternative to help keep track of intake and output, as well provide prizes like heart rate monitors, or fitness gear for meeting goals
  8. Involve Families- Invite staff to involve families into activities, provide discounts if necessary to activities or sponsor employee families to get involved in local 5k runs and wear Company Swag
  9. Publish Progress- Track and publish group progress on Social Media outlets, no individual weights here, just combined weight loss and overall staff progress
  10. Have Fun- Just have fun with it, not everyone will participate but the more fun it looks, and the better people feel, the more involvement you will get

By creating a healthy, fitness inspired environment, not only will you and your staff feel great, but you will also be providing an energized and motivated workforce. You don’t have to spend a lot of money, just start with the basics and provide what you can to get your staff started. Utilize the opportunity for marketing through press and media coverage, as well as potential insurance savings, and see an immediate ROI for any fitness program you put into place. This is one return that is completely measurable!


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Author: Frank Gurnee