In these difficult financial times, Colorado's Department of Personnel and Administration is kicking off a new wellness program called Healthy Frontiers. The program is web-based and open to all employees enrolled in the State Medical Plan. The online tool is similar to other online health tools which combine educational materials, online seminars and games, a health risk assessment, ideas for department challenges, and the "take charge of your health message."
It will be interesting to see if the program engages employees to participate without an actual team leader present and no monetary savings. As of March 18th, any Colorado State department could sign up for an exercise challenge called Department Domination to compete for the "fittest department." The fee for competing is $10, and each participant in the winning team will receive a t-shirt. Although a t-shirt might be enough for the already active employees, I doubt this is enough of an incentive for the sedentary population.
Virtual tools have not shown to drive engagement unless they are based around a supportive workplace environment, personal accountability, and incentives. At Wellness Corporate Solutions, we provide on-site team leaders for all of our health challenges. Team leaders have been shown to improve participation rates in wellness programs. Good luck, Colorado! We shall check back for your participation results!