Last week, in honor of racing season, I shared the benefits of forming a corporate team for a local run/walk. This week, I’m focusing on tips for successfully putting together a team. Lace up your running (or walking) shoes and read on.
· Choose a race date that is at least three months away to allow sufficient time for planning.
· Race for a reason. For example, if there is race benefitting a certain health concern that resonates with an employee or employees, this could make for a more meaningful experience.
· Host a mini (10- or 15-minute) meeting where you can share race information with interested employees; serve light, healthy refreshments; and recruit teammates on the spot. Pick a team name and captain.
· Set a goal. The goal could be a number of participants or, if it’s a charitable race, a pledge-raising goal. A goal gives you something to work toward and keeps motivation humming.
· Encourage employees to invite their family members to participate. After all, healthy living is a family affair.
· Communicate on a consistent basis. Put up signage, send out weekly or bi-weekly emails with pledge-raising progress (if applicable) and walking or running tips. You may want to share a map of a one-mile walking route around the office that employees can use on their lunch break or before or after work.
· Host one or two warm-up run/walks before the event to help build excitement for race day.
· Take lots of pictures of your team the day of the event. These can be published in your company newsletter or used to help recruit participants for next year’s race.
· Be sure to acknowledge all who participated on the team by sending a thank you card or email with a team photo.
Encouraging team work, both inside the walls of the workplace and beyond, fosters a feeling of camaraderie and helps support a culture of wellness. And employees don’t have to come in first, third, or tenth place to feel like a winner. Now, pick a race and start planning!