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2013-02-22 2:01 PM
in reply to: #4633471

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Subject: RE: Giving employees time off for exercise
BikerGrrrl - 2013-02-22 2:56 PM
flip18436572 - 2013-02-22 1:52 PM
mehaner - 2013-02-22 1:45 PM

BikerGrrrl - 2013-02-22 2:43 PM This has been instructive in realizing I was not explaining what was in my head to you guys or in the memo to staff.   Editing is under way.

glad we could help!!!  haha!

At last large employer we got our YMCA membership discounted by the number of times we used the facility the prior year.  So what I did in 2012, gave me that much of a discount in 2013 type of thing.  When we were doing that, I got our family membership free, just because of my workout at the YMCA.  Since you are at a University, that probably isn't an option, but it really needs to be tied into activity, otherwise you will be getting as others said.  Late to work, I was using my 30 minutes to sleep in, or a 30 minute smoke break.  Just my $0.02

Our health insurance does allow for a $20 rebate on health club memberships after 12 check-ins, in addition to the free facilities. 

By the way, that's pretty darn easy to cheat too.  Checking-in does not equal working out.  There's always a way to skate by at a job/in life.

i had a friend at my last company that got $35 a month for checking into the gym 2x/week.

she was going there to use the tanning beds



2013-02-22 2:03 PM
in reply to: #4633429

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Subject: RE: Giving employees time off for exercise
mehaner - 2013-02-22 1:38 PM
BikerGrrrl - 2013-02-22 2:34 PM

The whole point is that it's to improve health, very specifically. 

From what I read in your original post, the point was to reward your employees SOMEHOW since you can't financially reward them due to budget concerns.

To improve health/exercise habits you need to be more specific.  Create a contest or a goal.  That can be really fun.

To reward employees, you have to be more vague so that everyone feels rewarded.

Two VERY different goals.

 

I should have said my fervent hope is to improve health.  I have no expectations for measurable outcomes and I am not asking for anyone to give me specifics.

We have one person on staff with severe asthma.  If all she did was walk away from her desk and sat on a bench by a fountain, that's ok too. 

2013-02-22 2:03 PM
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Subject: RE: Giving employees time off for exercise
BikerGrrrl - 2013-02-22 2:53 PM

 

I like to think my staff will see it like JonD:  Yay, an endorsement for leaving early enough to get a spot on a treadmill at the gym, guilt-free. 

you know your staff better than we do - will they really see it like that?  if so - do they really need to be incentivized to workout?

i apologize, i realize i am not being helpful at all.  i just still am not sure of what you are trying to accomplish.  i'm a salaried employee and if i want to take a yoga class at 430, and i can leave, i just leave at 4.  i've never had to even worry about that.  i stay late the following day to make up for it, but don't need a "health break" to do it.  it sounds like you already have that culture, so i'm just struggling to understand...why/what are you trying to do here? 



Edited by mehaner 2013-02-22 2:15 PM
2013-02-22 2:16 PM
in reply to: #4633373

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Master
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Subject: RE: Giving employees time off for exercise

No time, but they do supplement for a gym membership.  I myself personally allow my guys to take 30minutes a day to add to lunch, before or after work to hit the gym...  Given that they can prove that's what they're using it for.  3 actually do, 4 don't, 1 is a late-night/musician/never going to go, and 1 is overweight and chooses to be that way.

... But that's my own policy that flies in the face of company rules.  So I just have to budget that time into my salary bucket.

 

2013-02-22 2:21 PM
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Subject: RE: Giving employees time off for exercise
mehaner - 2013-02-22 2:03 PM
BikerGrrrl - 2013-02-22 2:53 PM

 

I like to think my staff will see it like JonD:  Yay, an endorsement for leaving early enough to get a spot on a treadmill at the gym, guilt-free. 

you know your staff better than we do - will they really see it like that?  if so - do they really need to be incentivized to workout?

i apologize, i realize i am not being helpful at all.  i just still am not sure of what you are trying to accomplish.  i'm a salaried employee and if i want to take a yoga class at 430, and i can leave, i just leave at 4.  i've never had to even worry about that.  i stay late the following day to make up for it, but don't need a "health break" to do it.  it sounds like you already have that culture, so i'm just struggling to understand...why/what are you trying to do here? 

They can do it in theory, they just don't do it in practice.  They are actually annoyingly slavish to a schedule, which is a holdover from previous administration.  I thought having a real thing to plan for would encourage them to think about it and do it.  I, personally, take many liberties with my schedule.  I am mostly alone in this.  I admit that secretly this will help me put some structure around my own extra time off.

2013-02-22 2:25 PM
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Subject: RE: Giving employees time off for exercise
I actually saw this is a nice gesture that would make the employees feel like they "got" something and we cared about them.  But I am starting to wonder if the average person would find it more annoying/problematic or even think that we are being cheap or worse disingenuous.  That I would I find REALLY annoying, and want to already take it away from the ungrateful abusive employees I might have.  Man, the world is really frustrating!


2013-02-22 2:32 PM
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Subject: RE: Giving employees time off for exercise

BikerGrrrl - 2013-02-22 3:25 PM I actually saw this is a nice gesture that would make the employees feel like they "got" something and we cared about them.  But I am starting to wonder if the average person would find it more annoying/problematic or even think that we are being cheap or worse disingenuous.  That I would I find REALLY annoying, and want to already take it away from the ungrateful abusive employees I might have.  Man, the world is really frustrating!

making it so vague, and slightly cheesy, is not helping to get this message across.  you have gone back to wanting to reward your employees, and time off is a GREAT way to do this.  why does their need to be any rules around it?  but your policy as worded above reinforces their adherence to a schedule, which is what you are trying to get away from.

why not institue a flex time policy?  come in anywhere between 7-9, leave anywhere from 4 - 6.  you still get your time, and a set of hours when everyone can be reached, but it allows people that need more time in the morning to take it and people who need it in the evening to take it.  that's BASICALLY how it works where i am.  if they are going to put in their 8 hours no matter what you do, let them choose when the 8 hours fall.

2013-02-22 2:44 PM
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Subject: RE: Giving employees time off for exercise

I appreciate your input and I guess I am just not getting my point across, or it's too hard to visualize for those not at my organization.  I want them to work 38.5  hours instead of 40, and instead of just having a free for all I want them to spend the time doing something healthy.   They can leave early for that yoga class and they don't have to come in early the next day.

I originally was going to insist on it being exercise, but my colleague pointed out that was too restrictive, so it morphed into a "choose your own" health break.    Why restrict to health and not just random time off?  Because I value health and, as the boss, wanted to add that layer.

They don't do it on their own, so we're trying to build a framework to make it feel okay for them and in a way they view it as a perk.    They like order so setting aside 3 breaks, and letting us know when they will take them, is better suited to the culture.

2013-02-22 2:45 PM
in reply to: #4633373

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Subject: RE: Giving employees time off for exercise

When I used to personal train full time, my gym partnered with local small companies and offered on site group training for the employees.  The employer either paid part, or all of the cost.  The employees got to clock off 30 or 60 minutes early a few times per week to do the sessions.

As the trainer, I came out and during nice weather we trained outside.  During cold weather, the facilities made space in a large enough area to accommodate the group, like a conference room, etc.

We created the workouts to cater to many levels of fitness with fairly basic stuff.  Everything could be modified to suit the fit as well as the terribly unfit.  I brought a bag of exercise bands so we could work pretty much all major muscles groups.  I also included fun cardio stuff like little relay races and wind sprints.  The groups had a blast.

Might be something to look into if you want to reward them but also want to make sure they're actually using it for fitness.

2013-02-22 3:03 PM
in reply to: #4633564

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Subject: RE: Giving employees time off for exercise
BikerGrrrl - 2013-02-22 3:44 PM

I appreciate your input and I guess I am just not getting my point across, or it's too hard to visualize for those not at my organization.  I want them to work 38.5  hours instead of 40, and instead of just having a free for all I want them to spend the time doing something healthy.   They can leave early for that yoga class and they don't have to come in early the next day.

I originally was going to insist on it being exercise, but my colleague pointed out that was too restrictive, so it morphed into a "choose your own" health break.    Why restrict to health and not just random time off?  Because I value health and, as the boss, wanted to add that layer.

They don't do it on their own, so we're trying to build a framework to make it feel okay for them and in a way they view it as a perk.    They like order so setting aside 3 breaks, and letting us know when they will take them, is better suited to the culture.

It could be argued that "random time off" is conducive to "mental restoration."

2013-02-22 3:08 PM
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Subject: RE: Giving employees time off for exercise

Great idea IMHO.  

We get 3 hours a week for gym time, but fitness standards are part of the job (supposed to be anyway).  I think its a great idea for anyone to get some time to be healthy.  30 min. may not be enough for our (BT) endeavors, but if it encourages the typical out of shape American to just get up and go for a 30 minute walk 3 times a week that is a good start!

 Kudos to you guys for doing this. 



2013-02-22 3:18 PM
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Subject: RE: Giving employees time off for exercise
BikerGrrrl - 2013-02-22 1:56 PM 

Our health insurance does allow for a $20 rebate on health club memberships after 12 check-ins, in addition to the free facilities. 

By the way, that's pretty darn easy to cheat too.  Checking-in does not equal working out.  There's always a way to skate by at a job/in life.

 

Yeah, I have seen people just stop in to get their card swiped and leave. Even though I do some workout 6 days a week, only 10-12 of them are at the Y, so most of the time I miss out on the $20 discount.

2013-02-22 3:18 PM
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Subject: RE: Giving employees time off for exercise

Anything fitness related would be an amazing perk so that is awesome! The only thing we have are showers at work.

Instead of fitness-related perks, I get made fun of CONSTANTLY for eating healthy and turning down bagels and donuts that are brought in and generally being healthy and fit. When I run by work and use the showers that is more fuel to the fire. Just having a company culture that promotes health and fitness would be a huge perk.

2013-02-22 3:20 PM
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Subject: RE: Giving employees time off for exercise
I think it's a great idea and you should go with it. 3-30 min breaks a week for mental or physical health/recharging is a great idea. 
2013-02-22 3:28 PM
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Subject: RE: Giving employees time off for exercise
laurentris - 2013-02-22 3:18 PM

Anything fitness related would be an amazing perk so that is awesome! The only thing we have are showers at work.

Instead of fitness-related perks, I get made fun of CONSTANTLY for eating healthy and turning down bagels and donuts that are brought in and generally being healthy and fit. When I run by work and use the showers that is more fuel to the fire. Just having a company culture that promotes health and fitness would be a huge perk.

Same here. Many of my co-workers think it is weird that I sometimes run over lunch or ride my bike to work. I think I am the only one who has ever used the shower in our building.

2013-02-22 4:44 PM
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Subject: RE: Giving employees time off for exercise

I think it's cool that you're trying to do something to say thanks even when times aren't good enough that you can actually reward folks.

We have a small group here and a couple of years ago we did something like what Noelle suggested.  The head of the group offered to cover a trainer a couple of times a week if a group of people would go down to the gym, generally at 5.  While it is technically after hours (our official hours are 9-5) most of the people here end up working until 6 or 7.  While it was nice to have the trainer, what I think was most helpful was the official sanctioning of heading to the gym at 5.  I have no idea if your company is at all like mine but, despite official hours, we have somewhat vague starting and ending hours and almost nobody takes the full hour that we may officially have for lunch, a couple of 30 minute breaks would be tough to use.  If you had it a bit more structured where folks were encouraged (and you lead by example) to leave a little early, or show up late, a couple of days a week and get to the gym it might make more sense to me.  Otherwise, I don't know that I'd ever really use it.



2013-02-22 9:31 PM
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2013-02-24 8:25 AM
in reply to: #4633373


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Subject: RE: Giving employees time off for exercise
I applaud your thoughtfullness and assisiting your employess to think of themselves during the day.
I work in healthcare at a huge hospital system, salaried, and cannot consistantly get my employer to understand the importance of exercise for the staff as opposed to raking in the productivity units.
We stress the importance of getting our patients to exercise and eat rigth, but the staff comes in early, works over lunch and stays late to get the job done.
I would love to have an extra 90 min a week to train and I would do it consistantly. Actually I would love to have my lunch hour given back to me, arrive at work and leave work on time and I would be happy with that.
Appreciate you being concerned about your staff and wanted them to feel appreciated-do you have an opening?
C
2013-02-26 11:15 AM
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Subject: RE: Giving employees time off for exercise
My employer just recently started an exercise and health plan for employees. We dont get "Time Off" during the work week but we can attend classes on healthy eating, weight loss, etc. along with medical tests like a physcial, heart and lung exam, stress test, etc. Each test is assessed a point system and every 6 months you total up your points and you can elect getting time off or extra money on your check. They also award points for the amount of exercise you do each week and give you a "Pod" to put on your shoe that records your exercise and everytime you come into the office and pass through a "transmit point" the thing on the wall (not sure what its called) automatically uploads the data from you POD into the computer database. All in All, I will wind up getting 3 full days off of work every 6 months for exercising.
2013-02-26 11:21 AM
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Subject: RE: Giving employees time off for exercise
Thanks for the feedback, everyone. I wish we had the ability to do a "real" health initiative!  Maybe some day. 
2013-02-26 5:05 PM
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Subject: RE: Giving employees time off for exercise

We have a personal trainer come in twice per week for our employees.  This does cost money, but it's during their lunch hour.  It usually works out, for those that come to the class, probably get about 15 extra minutes.  They workout from 11:30am to 12:15, then go back to work.  They can then take a 15 minute lunch at 1:30-1:45.

Once you factor in getting ready, time after the workout, etc. It usually works out that the workout group gets an extra 15 minute lunch twice a week.

Seems to be working well for those participating.  We have about 10 out of 65 that go regularly, and probably another 5-8 that randomly come workout.  Everyone else just doesn't get the benefit of the workout, so that is their choice.



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