Many employers are turning to corporate wellness challenges to increase employee engagement and improve overall health. It is a fantastic strategy that when well executed can really make a difference in corporate culture and team health. 

However, one of the most untapped areas of support is wellness champions to help you roll out a successful challenge to your teams. 

We'll provide an overview of what a wellness champion is and how you can lean into them for challenge support. 

What is a wellness champion?

Great question. Let's see if anyone comes to mind for you when you hear our description. 

A wellness champion is someone who naturally gets your team excited about corporate activities. They are typically the first person to share "That's awesome!" in a team meeting or reach out to you with questions so they can be involved.

They are often the person people turn to when they have a question on something said in a meeting and they want to make sure they heard it correctly. They are a natural cheerleader who loves bringing people together around a common cause. 

They might not be an actual manager but they are a gifted leader who sets a positive example at work. 

Does anyone come to mind with this description?

A wellness champion is someone you can empower to help you get teams excited about what you are offering, be the first point of contact with any questions about your wellness initiative, and even run mini-challenges to encourage employee engagement. 

They can be your secret powerhouse to rolling out effective challenges. We've written a whole guide on how to build out a wellness champion network if you want to learn more! The point is to lean into champions to help with your challenges; here is how you can do it.

Lean into internal champions

As we shared, chances are, you already have some wellness champions in your workforce. You might call them something else but these are your employees who can get their colleagues excited about engaging with company-sponsored activities.

We recommend you empower internal influencers to help you raise awareness, keep folks motivated, and celebrate wins along the way. 

Your champions should help create community and motivation. Here are a few ways we’ve seen this successfully realized:

  • Create online communities on existing platforms for mutual sharing of wins and ideas
  • Offer spaces for participants to share stories and questions for peer-responses
  • Establish individual goals and collective team/company goals to really amp up the competition
  • Start meetings with quick classes that can count towards individual progress
  • Offer unique incentives to champions to get more colleagues signed up or engaged
  • Draft emails or flyers for champions to send out with their own flair

Creating a sense of community and a constant state of excitement means your challenge will succeed. Plus, you are developing internal leaders who will feel a sense of pride and responsibility to make sure the challenge is a success. 

Make sure that your asks of any internal champions are realistic and that the challenge is not asking too much of any of your employees. You don't want to burn anyone out in the name of wellness! 

What's next?

Running a corporate wellness challenge can play a key role in sustainable employee engagement with your wellness initiatives. 

We strongly recommend that you focus on the internal leaders, outside of HR, who can increase your reach, help you build awareness, and be a constant source of energy "on the ground."

If you'd like some additional failsafe strategies for executing a wellness challenge, we've put together a whole guide of seven secrets you need to know to make it successful. Are you ready to start winning?