Dubai is leading from the front. Every year, the Dubai Fitness Challenge inspires people to lead a healthy lifestyle and business leaders to invest in the well-being of their employees. People can join many events all over the country.
Many leaders also take this opportunity to organise a private company sports day to start or strengthen their company well-being programs.
But why, how, and what are the best practices?
Why should business leaders invest in the well-being of employees?
In their book “Employee Engagement, what else?“, Inge Van Belle and Klaus Lommatzsch share insights on what HR can learn from Marketing. Employee engagement is a wicked problem that requires a meta approach.
They identified twelve drivers of employee engagement.
Well-being is one of the twelve drivers.
Engaged employees drive customer delight.
Both have a positive impact on the bottom line. According to Deloitte, 1$ spent on well-being gives a 5$ return.
So that’s why you should invest in the well-being of your employees.
Start with the 20-30% engaged people.
Most companies start ad hoc and bottom-up. The leadership is not convinced yet or has other priorities, and a few enthusiasts begin small initiatives with some corporate sponsorship to test the waters. An obstacle race, bowling, after-work party, a running group, a padel tournament, yoga at the office, personal training… That’s a great start!
In most cases, those enthusiasts are engaged, sporty, social and competitive. Sometimes they even create a “fun & fit @ work team” to start coordinating the different initiatives. Resulting in about 20-30% of the employees joining the initiatives.
At that point, the leadership starts to understand the power of engagement and well-being but is frustrated that only a small group of people is reached. They also worry about sustainability as sometimes the initiatives stop because some enthusiasts leave the company.
How do you engage the 60% unengaged?
So now, you have touched the people who were already engaged in the first place. Fab! You know who your ambassadors are. They are leading by example.
Now imagine you could tap into the 60% non-engaged employees.
Organising a company sports day – we prefer to call it a games day as it’s more inclusive – with a 2-month build-up works.
But first of all, make no mistake: not engaged does not mean “not motivated”! On the contrary, investing in non-engaged people will give you the highest return on investment.
And don’t focus on the disengaged ones. You will not make them engaged by doing well-being programs. They even undermine what engaged people try to accomplish. So don’t allow them to.
In 25 years of experience, the best results at this stage come from a top-down strategy, a bottom-up drive and co-creation with specialists.
Many reasons why they don’t engage.
Most companies we work with understand the importance of well-being and engagement, already take many initiatives but still don’t reach more than 30% engagement on their initiatives. There are many reasons why 60% of your employees don’t engage in your initiatives. To name a few:
- The why is unclear. It feels like “ticking the box”.
- Top management doesn’t believe in the power of people.
- Communication is not well organised.
- The program is not holistic enough. Well-being is not just about sports. It’s about body, mind, social connection and nutrition.
- It’s not connected with your DNA.
- You don’t have the time to manage everything yourself, and you think it will be expensive to work with specialists.
- The disengaged people sabotage the rest.
- It’s too serious, or it’s not serious enough.
- Events are not seen as moments that matter.
You need a wingman to help you.
Co-creating a company sports/games day and program with specialists is a good idea.
We believe there’s no one size fits all. We believe it’s about craftsmanship. Every company is different; you should connect your programs and events with your DNA. We’d love to be your wingman during the process.
Want to be inspired by successful company sports/games days and programs we co-created with large corporate organisations in the UAE? Here are some examples from the region out of the hundreds of company days we implemented:
- Daman Customer Challenge
- Jaguar Landrover Customer First Teambuilding
- Kanoo Staff and Family Day
- Enoc Happiness Day
- ACWA Power FitDXB Day
Want to know what’s our secret to touching hearts and minds? It all started with the Hercules Trophy back in 1999. We white-labelled all the best practices we gathered from thousands of people and companies to create private trophies that actually work. We believe in the power of gamification, fun and phygital experiences.
About Dubai Fitness Challenge
Dubai Fitness Challenge puts forward a simple goal: complete 30 minutes of activity each day for 30 days. They aim to inspire everyone to create a fitness-focused mindset and seek healthy, active lifestyles with a month-long calendar of free workouts, exciting fitness events and wellness-centric entertainment.
About Herculean Alliance
We are employee engagement specialists, crafting powerful workforces since 1999. We are building an ecosystem of experts, private and public formats(like Hercules Trophy and Pink Ladies Games), and technology to help our customers measure and improve employee engagement.
We have offices in Belgium and Dubai. Our founders live here in Dubai. We organised company sports days and programs in 10 countries(US, EU, MEA) for hundreds of companies and thousands of people from all cultures. We help you connect your employees’ hearts and minds to your company’s purpose.