Introducing gamification, competitive elements, and rewards for achieving wellness goals are effective ways to get more bang for your wellness buck.
There has been a growing recognition of the relationship between employee wellbeing and organisational success. Recent times have pushed wellbeing to the forefront of the conversation; if your organisation isn’t talking about it, you’re severely missing out. In fact, AIA’s whitepaper The Impact Of A Healthy Workforce shows that employee health has an undeniable impact on business performance. Four risk factors have been highlighted as contributing to the increased risk of chronic diseases; poor diet, physical inactivity, tobacco use, and excess alcohol intake. Tackling non-communicable diseases (NCDs) will take a whole-of-system approach, and evidently, the workplace provides an ideal opportunity.
Organisations globally are beginning to make the most of the advantages that come with cultivating a workforce that thrives not just professionally, but personally — a healthier and more productive team that drives success.
Central to this crucial shift is HR, who are the driving force behind our people – the greatest asset of all companies. When navigating the complexities of the changing workplace, HR plays a pivotal role in realising the benefits of employee wellbeing programmes. With a bird’s-eye view of the organisation’s needs, HR can bridge the gap between employee expectations and business goals to drive tangible benefits.
To understand employees’ needs further, AIA’s 2023 Show It Survey of 1,461 employees identified four key areas that employees are looking for, especially post Covid-19:
- Worklife flexibility to exercise and wind down,
- More team building opportunities with colleagues,
- More focus on mental health; and
- Better work boundaries for personal time.
Such a trend highlights the importance of HR’s role in meeting the wellness aspirations of employees. On the corporate front, AIA’s WorkWell proposition on wellness encompasses under four pillarswhich covers aspects from social to physical, mental and financial. Each of the pillar provides an opportunity for a suite of targeted interventions that can inculcate heathier habits, and encourage employees to “live well, feel well, think well and plan well”.
Gamifying your wellbeing approach with the AIA #LiveWithVitality Corporate Challenge
Of course, physical health is a major factor in wellbeing.
In AIA’s 2023 Live It Health Screenings, involving 30 health screenings conducted by AIA and/or organised by participating companies in the challenge, it was found that:
- 97% of employees have blood glucose in healthy range
- 87% of employees have blood pressure in healthy range
- 55% of employees have BMI in healthy range
- 54% of employees have cholesterol in healthy range
No doubt, it's not all doom and gloom, but there is still cause for concern and more can certainly be done to close the gaps in these figures. One way to overcome this and foster active participation to improve wellbeing is to turn it into an enjoyable activity for your employees, such as through AIA’s #LiveWithVitality Corporate Challenge.
Introduced in 2022, the #LiveWithVitality Corporate Challenge sees companies participating in a gamified competition to Show It, Sweat It and Live It with Vitality. Teams of employees from various companies are put through several activities covering health and fitness, with the aim to garner as much of a score as possible to rack up points and win the challenge. These activities include getting adventurous and sparking team camaraderie in a telematch and through fitness games.
For the benefits of HR heads and wellness leaders, let’s go behind the scenes to understand the workings and merits of this corporate challenge.
Firstly, what makes the corporate challenge so different is the plug-and-play format – to maintain convenience as well as scalability, the corporate challenge activities are distributed as ready assets for companies to plug and play, with full support from the AIA Vitality team.
Secondly, as companies fight for higher scores, the corporate challenge empowers HR leaders to know more about their employees through wellness survey that uncovers insights on how to improve the wellness offerings to better support employees.
At the same time, HR will be able to better understand the health of their employees through organised onsite health screenings, as well as opportunities to boost employee engagement and cross-functional teamwork with physical activities designed to uplift morale.
Thirdly, the corporate challenge solves one of the most commonly-faced challenges across company-led wellness initiatives – wellbeing initiatives are only as effective as their adoption by employees. A common shortcoming lies in the lack of employee engagement, as many programmes fail to identify the proper motivation to get employees to participate. The AIA #LiveWithVitality Corporate Challenge solves that through its gamified approach, offering not only visibility to its ongoing leaderboards, but also rewarding the winning teams with prizes. After all, competition and prizes drive participation and engagement!
As a commitment to supporting employers across Singapore on their workplace wellness journey, the AIA #LiveWithVitality Corporate Challenge is available to all AIA Singapore corporate clients to participate at no charge.
Inside look: What the 2023 winners have to say
This year, the four-month AIA #LiveWithVitality Corporate Challenge lasted from May to August, serving as the extended platform that complements and supports companies’ effort in employees’ health and wellness. Companies such as Citibank, Standard Chartered Bank, Haliburton, Tech Data, Lazada South East Asia, SHEIN Group, and Fitness First were amongst the many that rallied their employees to take part in the activities to Show It, Sweat It and Live It with Vitality, to vie for the top leaderboard space.
Taking home the gold win was Tech Data, a distributor and solutions aggregator for the IT ecosystem, and we had the opportunity to speak to Cyl Lin, Human Resources Director, Tech Data to find out more.
“The Show It! Challenge helped coworkers to be more conscious of their health by understanding their own medical reports and make necessary lifestyle adjustments through doctor consultations. The results of the Live It! survey have also helped us better curate a more targeted wellbeing strategy for 2024.”
Walking the talk, AIA also participated in the challenge, emerging the platinum winner. Winnie Ow Head, Reward & People Advisory, AIA Singapore shared more: “As the organiser of the challenge and a company leading in workplace wellness, it is important that we champion the way and walk the talk by rallying all our staff to be active and engaged in what we do.
“With that, we have seen significant improvement in our staff engagement with AIA Vitality and the percentage of our staff at ‘Silver’ vitality status increased from 30% in May 2023 to 68% in September 2023.”
Participating in the corporate challenge for the second year, Jace Zheng, Regional HR Manager, SHEIN Group has also seen improvements in engagement among their employees, especially as the company has also signed up all employees for corporate AIA Vitality.
“We noticed that our employees are actively seeking opportunities to exercise, going for after work jogs, weekend hikes and more employees are utilising lunch time to hit the gym since Virgin Active and Fitness First, both partner gyms of AIA Vitality, are just a stone throw away.”
Evidently, such wellness challenges actively engage employees with their gamification and competitive elements, as well as rewarding them for achieving wellness goals. This incentive-driven approach motivates employees to participate, driving engagement to enable employees to take an active role in their wellbeing journey.
The results can be seen both in individual experiences, as well as aggregated experiences as derived in the whitepaper cited above. Here are some of the key takeaways:
- Year-on-year, more employees completed a higher number of fitness activities post-Vitality, compared to pre-Vitality. For instance, while close to 60% of employees took part in fewer than six fitness activities pre-Vitality, a larger proportion engaged in six or more, and some even over 30.
- The average sick days per employee reduced significantly by the third year.
- Employee turnover rate was significantly lower amongst those with a higher Vitality status
- The greater the level of Vitality engagement by employees, the lower the associated healthcare costs relative to employers with lower levels of employee Vitality engagement
With that, AIA Vitality in particular drives employee wellness engagement, which leads to lower absenteeism and improves talent retention rates.
Putting all of this together, AIA Vitality should be foremost on your mind when it comes to wellness programmes to support employees on health, fitness and boost engagement (best of all, be rewarded for staying healthy!)
AIA Vitality is one of the most comprehensive wellness programmes in Singapore available to individual and corporate customers. It motivates members with weekly rewards when they achieve fitness milestones and boost their AIA Vitality status to enjoy exclusive partner benefits.
Count on AIA Vitality as a pacer, tracker, and lifelong partner that enables you to go the extra mile and enjoy the real reward of a healthier you.
Reach out to AIA Vitality and stay tuned for the 3rd edition coming in 2024! Find out more here.
Lead image / Provided