Every study says corporate fitness increases productivity, reduces absenteeism and lowers company insurance rates. We Fit U has been providing corporate fitness programs for 8 years. We have learned to have a successful program you don’t need a huge facility, you don’t need to spend a fortune, but in order to reap the benefits of corporate fitness, you do need to get the participants invested in the program.
That part is a process. It needs to be continuous. In the beginning, there will be hype and excitement and people will make promises to each other that oftentimes break later on, for reasons like work, family and exhaustion.
Motivation is personal and needs to be individualized — what works for one person will not work for another. Most people start an exercise program with lofty goals: lose 10 pounds, run a marathon, go down 3 dress sizes. This is a good start, but if you do not have the short-term goals to get you there, then you’re setting yourself up for failure.
Your start off point is a big determinant in what your short-term goals should be. If you do not run and never have, saying you’re going to run a marathon is a big change, and unattainable. That first mile is going to exhaust you, and then you’re going to have that realization that a marathon takes another 25.2 of those to go. If it took you 10 minutes to run that first mile, you will realize that you will have 250 minutes more. It can get discouraging, unless you shelf that big goal for later and focus on the intervals that are going to get you there.
The road to success in the marathon goal should actually start with walking or running 1 mile. After you do this, you are a success — and success breeds success.
The first step in the corporate fitness program for beginners should be setting small goals that lead up to a bigger one, and it should have progression so each person is trying to do what they can plus a little bit more.
The best practice to get the most participation is to have the participants pay for at least some of the program. You can offer rebates for participation if you want but when there is a penalty for missing, there is better turnout. The amount you charge should be enough that they do not want to throw it away, but also add in something, like earning a rebate by attending 75 percent of classes scheduled. You have to allow for misses or offer make ups, but the idea is to get them invested in the process.