improving-employee-satisfactionMany executives know that happy employees are productive employees. There was a reason Snow White’s staff whistled while they worked, and there is a reason why many modern companies are spending resources on employee lounge spaces with free snacks, large TVs, ping pong tables and other trendy perks.

One of the most effective ways to improve employee satisfaction is also one of the longest-standing workplace trends: fitness. Employee fitness programs encourage teamwork, improve employee health, and increase satisfaction rates.

How to offer fitness programs that improve employee satisfaction

Fitness programs don’t have to be limited to the standard 5K for the same condition (heart health, breast cancer, etc.) year after year. Variety, a sense of competition, and building community all help make fitness programs effective in improving employee satisfaction.

An effective employee fitness program can require some dedication from participants, one example being weight-loss competitions that require weekly weigh-ins and feature message boards to help people reach their fitness goals. Or fitness programs can be as simple as a walking group that meets weekly to take twenty-minute walks around the building, which requires no additional planning from the employee. Fitness programs that keep employees engaged and happy simply need to be tailored to the employee populations and should be guided by current employee fitness and level of interest.

Why you want happier employees

It has been noted that happiness is affected by an employee’s sense of control over their life. When employees engage in fitness programs in the workplace, the control they have goes beyond being able to choose what color cubical they sit in; they start to take control of the way they feel and how they can move through the world. The effect of that empowerment will be seen in employee confidence, happiness, and productivity.

Results on how fitness programs improve employee satisfaction can be gathered by gauging employee participation on the program’s intranet page, opens or clicks on emails, and by tracking personal testimonials. A quick post-program survey can also help make the case for the fitness program and uncover new ways employees want to experience health at work. The relatively small amount of time an employee spends interacting with others about fitness programs should not be considered wasted company time because that employee is going to return to his or her work with renewed vigor, more mental flexibility and a happier attitude.

What ideas do you have for fitness innovative fitness programs? Send your ideas to and we’ll share them on our Facebook page.

Download: Making the Business Case for a Healthy Workforce

Topics: Wellness Program, Employee Satisfaction