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By Megan Wild
November 14, 2016
Construction is a physically demanding job in its own right, so it’s not surprising your crew may not want to head to the gym to work out even more before or after work. Those muscles are being used all day long, but a good strength training regimen can also help to prevent common injuries that can be found on the jobsite.
Employers lose an estimated 20,000 workdays annually due to worksite accidents with lift trucks alone. Can you imagine how much productivity is lost when considering all worksite injuries? By improving the health of your crew, you can make sure that your business is working at optimal productivity so you can best serve your customers.
With all of the benefits of exercise, how can you incentivize physical fitness to get your crew moving even when they’re off duty? Here are a few ideas...
The biggest trick to incentivizing physical fitness for your crew is figuring out how you’re going to track the contest.
Here are a few suggestions, though these can always be tweaked to better fit your individual crew:
Smartphones — Almost everyone has one, and it takes very little space to add a fitness tracker app like MyFitnessPal or Fitocracy. These can be used to track calorie intake and activity levels. Fitocracy even provides a leveling system that adds a level of friendly competition.
Pedometer — You can get cheap pedometers for a couple of dollars each at most stores. You can keep track of steps on the job, off the job, or at home. Make a quick spreadsheet and keep track of everyone’s steps, and deliver an incentive at the end of the month.
Honor system — If you trust your crew to be honest about their fitness levels, you could simply have them report their daily or weekly workouts.
Money is one of the most commonly used and most-coveted incentives. It doesn’t matter if it appears as cash, a bonus on the paycheck, or a gift card to a local restaurant—everyone loves free money. Before starting the program, establish how much you want to spend on incentives, and plan accordingly.
Have a crew motivated by vacation? You could also offer paid days off as a grand prize to really up the ante.
Gym memberships are costly, and many people skip the gym because of the extra monthly expenditure, distance to the gym, or not having anyone to go with. Try partnering with a local gym to offer discounted memberships, free months, or group discounts. You could also offer partial or full compensation for gym memberships if a crew member shows you their membership card or other proof of purchase.
Does your crew like to shoot a few hoops or throw a football around on the weekends? Depending on the size of your crew, you could create a sports team or join a local sports league.
In the same vein, you could also organize a team for a 5K run or an obstacle race such as Tough Mudder or Savage Race. The obstacle races are a great way to encourage team building as well as physical fitness, because many of the obstacles require cooperation to complete.
Everyone loves a little bit of friendly competition in the office or on the construction site, so creating some physical fitness-based challenges can be a great way to get your crew to get fit while having fun at the same time.
A couple of ideas you could implement might include:
The Steps Challenge — 10,000 steps a day. You could also make this a running challenge for people to count how many days they’ve run a mile during a week or month.
The Water Challenge — Staying hydrated is important, especially when you’re working in the construction field. Challenge your crew to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day.
Cooking Contests — Who can cook the healthiest AND tastiest meal?
The Biggest Loser — Who can lose the highest percentage of their weight in a healthy way in a month’s time?
Again, these are just a few ideas you can try out. Feel free to modify them to best fit your crew.
Talk to your crew. Find out the kind of activities they’d be interested in participating in as part of these physical fitness incentives. There’s no point in implementing something no one is going to participate in.
Getting people up and moving, especially after a long day on a construction site, can be a tricky proposition. Adding some incentives can be a great way to help build team unity, foster friendly competition, and have a little bit of fun all while creating a way for your crew to improve their own physical fitness.
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