This Leadership series begins at Part 1, Small Steps for Staff Engagement. For more helpful advice from 9East Managing Director and Entrepreneur, Amjad Khanche, follow him on LinkedIn

Small Steps for Staff Engagement Continued

Looking after your team member’s health and fitness is a big part of their happiness. By creating a positive and healthy workplace for employees, you can increase morale, engagement, productivity and business performance. Your health and fitness initiatives need not be boring nor costly; you can make them fun and engaging for everyone involved! Here are some fun and low-cost activities I have found useful for promoting health and fitness among my team members and keeping them happy.

Start step challenges to create healthy competition that motivates your team members to get involved in fitness. Many smartphones come with step counters, which enable team members to compare results at the end of the week or month. Challenge your team members to participate in a step competition for a fun way of engaging your team. Get some help from your IT team and create a live HTML portal for real-time data on participating team members steps. Any controversy with disengaged, unhappy or disagreed team members always respond with requesting alternative initiatives and make them take lead on these initiatives.

Health and fitness initiatives

Try endurance event reimbursement. What this involves is encouraging team members to engage in marathons of any length they choose, but reimbursing them for successfully completing the event. Simply ensure the team member verifies their completion of the marathon, and then reimburse them as soon as you are able. When teams engage in health and wellness activities together, they have a shared purpose which develops camaraderie. There is always going to be a fine line to keep these initiatives fair.

Another way to promote health and fitness in your company is by inviting gym trainers, massage therapists, and health store owners to your office. This can be a great way to encourage team members to be more proactive in their efforts to become fit and healthy. It may seem odd to encourage fitness initiatives in the office (it can be difficult to work when we’re away from our desks), but devoting work time to fitness can result in higher productivity.

You can take this a step further by offering fitness classes in your building or office. Invite instructors of Pilates, yoga, Zumba and other fitness classes to help your team members lower their stress levels and clear their minds. Or you can have a team member teach the class instead, promoting team building and active participation. Again there is a fine line here if someone internal does it, my experience tells me that it’s always best to get someone from outside and keep it tight when it comes to professional training of any kind.

Consider holding a community charity game of soccer or cricket. It is a great way to get your team members more active, and a great way to build relationships within your company as well as the community. Importantly all these initiatives should grow as the company grows and consistency is key to making these things work across the board. Keep it simple and let it grow.


Amjad Khanche’s staff engagement lessons continue in Part Three, Building a Happy Workplace.