Wellness challenges are one of the most popular tools for engaging employees in wellness programs. Whether it be a step challenge, walking challenge, general workplace fitness challenge. Many HR reps that are new to corporate wellness will debate between using group vs personal challenges to promote healthier lifestyles. While both can be effective for improving health, only group challenges get continued engagement. Let’s start by explaining the difference between the two:
A personal challenge is a challenge that’s just for you; no other participants. It typically is geared around goals you set for yourself. Personal challenges can be easier to establish than group challenges because there’s only one person to coordinate with. Common personal challenges include meeting running goals, or gaining or losing more than a previous weight. These are also great habit builders as it trains us to internalize your goals and create self motivation. Promoting personal challenges in the workplace is great for encouraging better individual performance and discipline.
In a group challenge, your performance is measured with/against others. Group challenges don’t have to be competitive, but they always include multiple people. This can be a group of friends doing a 5K together, or a step challenge at work. A good group challenge will be fun, informative, interesting, and balanced (so one person or team doesn’t pull ahead and stay ahead). These types of challenges promote employee bonding and better teamwork within the office.
Which is Best for Your Wellness Program?
While it would be great if we all could complete all of our own personal challenges, that doesn’t really happen. There’s a lot of evidence that suggests that social support can be extremely motivating in achieving fitness goals, both online and in person. Group challenges are great for combining social activity with fitness, making working towards personal goals fun. Furthermore, we know that surrounding yourself with other health-conscious people will help us stay on track.
We see that group challenges tend to get substantially more repeat engagement than personal challenges. Users seem to enjoy the group dynamics and they’re always curious to see who’s going to win. The tough part is creating new, interesting challenges so that the same people aren’t participating and winning every time. That requires a good amount of knowledge about game-mechanics, and knowing best practices for setting up a company fitness challenge.
Since most HR reps aren’t gaming experts, we created our AutoPilot program to automatically create and distribute well-made challenges for our clients. This gives our clients the ease of administration that they’d get with personal challenges, with the higher long-term engagement we see with group challenges.
To sum it all up, group challenges are definitely better for your wellness program. They make use of your company’s social dynamics and they build in a teamwork component that builds on office comradery. If you would like to go ahead and set up a challenge, check out this secret to creating engaging fitness challenges.