The coronavirus outbreak has induced a major disruption amongst various industries across the globe. We saw a massive decline in productivity, engagement, and wellness among the new remote workers. The top HR leaders of all industries came to a similar conclusion- these work from home stint are causing burnouts.
Such bouts of stress, fatigue, social anxieties influenced by the many uncertainties bought on by the pandemic-ridden world were certainly once-in-a-lifetime challenges faced by business leaders worldwide.
The wellness of employees is perhaps the top concern that organizations are currently dealing with. So with the onset of a new year along with a new set of health goals for 2021, organizing a virtual walkathon is an ideal way to gear up your remote employees.
What is a Virtual Walkathon?
A virtual walkathon is an online walking event or race that can engage an entire community or group of audience to complete a challenge for a cause. That makes it the ideal yet safest way to promote unity, health, and prosperity across various demographics digitally.
Like any other physical event, a virtual event like a walkathon can be the best way to fundraise, irrespective of location and time. But if you’re an employer and want to host a virtual walkathon for remote employees, taking note of some aspects is inevitable for its success.
We have listed down some of the basics to get you started:
Things to consider before Organizing a Virtual Walkathon
With the advent of digitalization, your tech-savvy attendees rely heavily on smartphones and tools. With the aid of merging online and physical mediums, engaging your remote workers can be an easier work in progress.
So if you’re serious about organizing one for your employees, consider the following factors before making the event live!
1. Understand Your Audience
Perhaps, it is the foremost approach before going ahead with your plan. You can map out some questions like what are my audience demographics or where they will participate? As this is an isolated event, you must consider every aspect of your employees, i.e., their time zones, necessary tools, etc. Figuring out such questions can be helpful to visualize the possible pitfalls coming along the way.
2. Take Special Note on Data Privacy
With the digitalization of most businesses it’s easy to access users’ data within seconds—no wonder why data privacy is covering up the mainstream media. Event organizers must take special care of data privacy before collecting massive amounts of data from their participants. If some of your employees are reluctant to share their private information, try to establish transparency by substituting with other methods like giving out a clear notice or event guidelines.
3. Keep It Simple and Sweet
It’s already a tough job to convince each of your employees to sign up for the virtual event. And making the entire process cumbersome might force them to opt out early. So keeping it simple and sweet with an easy navigational interface is always helpful.
4. Get Your Sponsors Right
Be it a fundraiser, charity, or a sponsored event; funding is the backbone of any physical or virtual program. This way, you not only promote the brand but help your audience enjoy a smooth virtual experience with merchandise and other goodies.
5. Repurpose Your Content
This is the final and smartest way to keep your virtual walkathon going. Never make it a one-time event because these events help uplift your employee’s morale. In fact, after the event, you must soon look for new opportunities to promote its success on various channels.
How to Organize a Virtual Walkathon?
As simple as it seems, a virtual event requires way more preparation than a physical event. You need to take care of your audience’s interest spans and human touch factors. This calls for special attention while organizing a virtual walkathon for your remote employees.
So if you’re wondering how to get it right, follow the list below:
1. Choose the right Digital Platform
Okay, as you get your basics right; now the next thing is to identify the right digital platform that is the right fit for your organization and your workforce. Employers choosing “the one” virtual platform can be a cumbersome process owing to the vastness of services out on the web.
So how can you select the ideal wellness platform?
Well, you need to do some more homework by recollecting your campaign goals. This will help you better understand and identify the services that you need during the process.
As we are talking about hosting a virtual walkathon, you are lucky to have a plethora of options. Note that the main factor to look for is real-time tracking in the application. It must be integrable into multiple devices so that no participants are left out because of the unavailability of a particular system.
Also, if your employees start walking, say, 6000 steps a day, the app must record the location, time, and distance. Also gamifying the entire process can yield greater participation. Hence it will be more engaging if your application has additional features like a calorie counter, heartbeat monitor, along with a step tracker for a better user experience.
2. Make a Strategic Plan for Your Virtual Walkathon
Once you have selected a digital platform, you’re good to go with your event’s main phase, i.e., strategizing the whole event.
Executing and planning the event is a matter of personal choice. You can also set up specific teams to help you ideate with the main aspects of organizing a virtual walkathon in alignment with the company values. It would be best if you come up with some interesting themes along with a detailed time frame so that no employees feel bored while participating in the event.
You may like to set up some easy yet competitive targets, for example, “walk 5000 steps a day”, “walk 3000 steps for a week challenge” or “walk 1500 steps without stopping”. You can also give a competitive edge by customizing a real-time leaderboard in the mobile application where every participant can view his/her and their colleague’s score. That way, they will never get tired of the event and finish their campaign goal with zeal.
3. Promote on Social Media
Organizing a virtual event and not promoting it via social media can spill water on your efforts. We all know the strength of social media in today’s world. It is perhaps the most robust platform to broadcast information to the right people. So if you’re about to launch your event, try to market its effectiveness on various platforms where your employees are usually found active.
You can also blog about it, make fun promotional videos, share the information on your company website, and youtube channel. This will grab your employee’s attention and make other people aware of your message of prioritizing health over anything else.
4. Reward Your Employees Participation
Once you’re done with the planning and spreading the word to your targeted audience, the next step is recognizing their efforts.
So if you’re wondering how to appreciate your employees’ consistent efforts, then rewards and recognition is just the answer.
So how do you do that?
Rewards can act as a catalyst that motivates your employees to continue the process. Allot some budget beforehand that will be distributed to them either in monetary or non-monetary rewards.
Things become way more manageable with some corporate wellness platform that promotes wellness with an easy rewarding system. Based on the leaderboard, you can also specially recognize and reward your employees for better engagement.
Does it sound a bit much for you?
Well, there is no need to worry when you can also download a complete rewards and recognition guide crafted by the experts in this field.
5. Beyond Virtual Walkathon
So you’re set to host a perfect event. From your participant persona to channelizing the event, you get the idea of taking over with confidence.
But what’s next after hosting the virtual walkathon?
Remember that health is a long-term process and requires consistency and effort to get the desired outputs. If you want to make the most out of your employees, serious maintenance of their health is your utmost priority. This requires to hold a few more health walkathons or events to spread awareness.
This way, your employees will value the message you want to convey through these events. You can also host a virtual run campaign or a virtual cycle campaign to get the same results from your employees. Try to have such wellness campaigns more often, maybe every week, with new activity targets.
Over To You
The prime issue associated with remote working employees is that either they cannot unplug from work or find it challenging to engage in their work. Either way, it takes a lot of energy and time from both the employee and the employer.
Organizing a virtual walkathon is the only way to get back to your entire workforce productivity, even remotely. Once the event starts, you would love to see more employees participating in every new walkathon you host. We hope following the above points will help you to host your employees’ best virtual walkathon.
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