Motivation is a tricky subject. If you’ve ever struggled with implementing new healthy habits and practices, then you know exactly what we mean.


We like easy, and we like fun. So how do you create good habits that aren’t exactly easy or fun, and make them be both easy and fun? How do you help your employees do the same? One way is to introduce a little friendly competition!

Employee wellness challenges can be a hit or a miss. They can really hit home, or totally strike out! So what does a well-executed employee wellness challenge look like?


  1. It’s specific: Don’t try to implement a challenge that works on sleep, mindfulness, social connections, and physical activity all in one. Pick a single goal, just one habit, and create a challenge surrounding that. Next month, try a different one! This way, you can avoid causing overload.
  2. It’s measurable: How do you have a competition without guidelines and specific measurable outcomes? You don’t. A good challenge should be similar to SMART goals. Don’t just ask your employees to “walk more”, ask them to walk a specific distance or number of steps per day. This way, they can measure their performance in a quantifiable way. This takes care of the “easy” component.
  3. It’s got an incentive: This is where the “fun” component comes into play. Give your employees something to work for! Those 10,000 steps a day will seem like a lot more fun if your employees get to look forward to an Amazon gift card or an extra vacation day as a prize.
  4. It offers participants specific takeaways: What really makes a good employee wellness challenge is one that offers them skills, knowledge, and/or habits to take away with them long after the challenge is over, thus improving their life in some way. For instance: a walking challenge should come with ideas on how to get in some extra steps on a daily basis, regardless of how busy you are. This way employees can continue to implement what they have learned, and continually improve their wellness (which is the real goal of the challenge).

If you need inspiration for employee wellness challenges, here is an excellent post on Wellable that lists 11 great ideas.