Challenges

Are You Making These Wellness Challenge Mistakes?

Written by Allie

When companies ask us for help making their employees happier and more engaged at work, we turn to challenges. However, you might be making common wellness challenge mistakes that could jeopardize your participation and success.

Here are seven missteps that could make your challenges fall flat…and how to get back on track.

Mistake #1: Too Many Things!

In the excitement to create an awesome wellness challenge, you’ve added in way too many elements. Either you’re tracking too many activities or making it complicated to figure out how to earn credit. It happens!

Solution: Simplify your concept and save your other great ideas for future challenges.

Mistake #2: One-Size-Fits-All

Running one challenge designed for every employee could be working against you, especially if you have a large and diverse team. More active employees are more likely to get bored, while your fitness beginners could feel demotivated if it’s already clear who’s going to win from the beginning.

Solution: Split groups by activity level or interests, and run different challenges. Avoid challenge fatigue by offering challenges spanning fitness, nutrition, mindfulness, or other topics. Allow people to opt-in for the one they want, or look to an automated system like IncentFit’s SmartEngage.

Mistake #3: Poor Timing

What are your busiest times of the year? When do you have more downtime? If you’re launching a new challenge with a goal of engagement and team building, consider when your employees will be most receptive to a fun activity.

Solution: Plan challenges around times when you can fully commit, and give advanced notice with creative communication. Instead of one major challenge per year, try smaller ones in 3-4 week lengths throughout the year.

Mistake #4: Requiring a Specific Fitness Tracker

It’s enticing to want to get everyone on the same tracking system, and Fitbit does offer a corporate discount if you purchase in bulk. But those costs can add up quickly. And not everyone wants to use the same device or tracking app! With thousands of options on the market, chances are your employees already have a favorite.

Solution: Give them the freedom to use any device or app they want. Partner with a wellness vendor who can support that: IncentFit works with 30+ supported fitness apps and devices, so you can easily sync activites and earn credit. And if you’re really set on getting that corporate discount, try giving away fitness trackers as a challenge prize!

Mistake #5: Not targeting the right people

There’s a principle called the 80-20 rule, that says that 80% of effects originate from 20% of causes. Or as it relates to healthcare: 80% of your company’s healthcare costs are attributed to 20% of the people. It might be way easier to get your office runners to participate in a steps challenge, but you’ll see better results and return on investment if you can get the 20% to join in.

Solution: Consider the needs of your least active employees or those with pressing health needs, and design a challenge that’s inclusive to them.


Go beyond just talking about valuing employee health — wellness challenges help you put that into action. Talk to us to learn more about how you can start strengthening your culture.