Less obvious than the benefits of a fit workforce is how to convince your team to get healthy. After all, we’ve all experienced how tricky it can be to improve fitness just on an individual level. Motivating a whole team to hit the gym and swap green beans for Ben & Jerry’s is even more difficult.
37signals employees get a monthly fitness allowance to put toward whatever helps us stay in shape.
What makes this benefit awesome (and effective) is that we get to choose how to make the most of it for ourselves -- it’s inspired by the same ethos behind our practice of hiring Managers of One, then leaving people alone and counting on them to do good work. Unlike company wellness programs that include discounted memberships at a particular gym or other specific incentives, the laissez-faire approach trusts employees to decide what works best for them.
While a few of us rarely spend the money or use just part of it, many of us leverage it toward activities that might otherwise by cost-prohibitive: primarily gym memberships, classes and personal trainers.
The post goes on to list the variety of activities team members spend their allowance on, from horseback riding to CrossFit and capoeira. The approach is obviously simple to administer -- just dangle cash and let employees decide whether to take advantage of the offer or leave a perk on the table -- and by the sound of the diverse list of activities it’s also popular. Plus, there’s no risk of a backlash or backsliding once the management sponsored healthy living push winds down.
JESSICA STILLMAN is a freelance writer based in London with interests in unconventional career paths, generational differences, and the future of work. She has blogged for CBS MoneyWatch, GigaOM, and Brazen Careerist. @EntryLevelRebel