HEAL is a leading corporate wellness company that provides programs to organizations that understand the value of their employee’s health and wellbeing, and the impact it has on improving engagement, productivity, and retention. HEAL recently teamed up with the Google Toronto office to run a 4-week Wellness Challenge through the month of July.
Like many companies this year, Google was looking for a fun and engaging team-building opportunity to support a virtual workplace. They also wanted to proactively address growing mental health challenges, and equip their employees with the tools to improve their overall health and well-being. As such, the challenge sought to get Googlers to eat healthier, get inspired with new, healthy recipes, get motivated to move, manage any stress and mental health, and feel their best.
Every weekday for 4 weeks, employees received a daily email that included challenges for the day, along with education as to why it’s important and how to complete it. Googlers then logged into our portal to check off the challenges they had completed. The majority of employees participated in small teams and had an opportunity for weekly and overall prizes based on their participation. Googlers were also able to invite family members to participate in the program alongside them.
In advance of the program, HEAL met with the organizers to make sure that the topics covered were customized to Google’s goals and objectives. The challenges covered topics like how to build healthy habits, increase energy, support your mental health, sleep better, boost your mood, exercise/move more and lots more! In addition to the daily tasks, participants also received four weeks of meal plans, containing a total of 36+ healthy recipes. Making the recipes was optional, but acted as helpful guidance and was simply an extra resource throughout the program. It also included an (optional) 4-week workout program from a personal trainer, along with "do-anywhere" workouts.
The program also took advantage of Google’s internal chat room and throughout the program employees were able to connect with other participants, share their successes and ask HEAL’s nutritionists questions. This turned out to be a regular daily discussion via ping and one of the key team-building features of the challenge.
Finally, in order to facilitate a smooth kickoff and eliminate any unnecessary leg work on the part of the Google organizers, HEAL provided a promotional plan that included launch emails, a registration page, a kickoff presentation, and handled all support requests throughout the program.
At the end of the 4-weeks, HEAL sent out a feedback survey to measure the impact of the program. Of the participants that responded, some of the key highlights were that:
“I loved the way it connected me to a team within my company, we checked in on each other and had some good laughs.”
“I absolutely LOVED the challenge, and I know I'm not alone. I received exclusively positive feedback from the other participants, too! I wish we could have this as an always-on. It's the best email to look forward to every morning! Thank you for your hard work on this, the fantastic tips, and sharing your wealth of knowledge, tips and tricks on health and wellbeing! LOVED it!!”
“We did this as a team and it was fantastic for bringing the team closer, getting to know each other on a more personal level.”
“This experience has been absolutely amazing. It made me realize that habit stacking is so effective. Every small change we make on a day to day basis has a bigger impact on our mind, body and soul...I could easily say that this has made a huge difference to my mental health. Amazing challenge. Cannot wait to do it again.”
“...I loved the support [HEAL] would give in replying to my emails or answering the chat. I LOVED the veggies challenge, and felt a difference with the sugar one. The 20-30 min exercise became a habit that I feel an itch to do on the weekend and feel a craving for it. Thank you for doing this and your dedication and support!”
Not only was the program highly engaging, as evidenced by the fact that 54% of participants completed over half of the challenges, but it’s safe to say it met its team-building objectives based on the high level of daily activity in the group chat. As Google Toronto’s Wellness Lead highlighted at the end, “HEAL did all of the heavy lifting and made the Wellness Challenge seamless. [It] required very little effort from Google, and had a highly positive impact on those that participated. This was facilitated virtually, and could be executed effectively in any region!”