By: Jennifer Smith, MWC Board of Directors

It was on a beautiful Michigan summer afternoon that ten West Michigan employers came together to discuss successes and challenges of our wellness programs during this COVID-19 pandemic.

As we sat on the patio of Consumers Credit Union’s corporate headquarters, all six feet apart, we found many of us were facing many of the same challenges: remote staff, return to work protocols, wellness budgets being cut, employees with their children’s school years up in the air—and the list goes on for us to consider and navigate.

A few low-cost and somewhat easy-to-implement items surfaced from our idea sharing:

  1. Instead of an individual wellness challenge, maybe we challenge individuals and families. For example, what about an outdoor scavenger hunt?
  2. A daily water intake challenge.
  3. “Eat the Rainbow” challenge where the goal is to eat all the colors of the rainbow in a day (unfortunately Skittles don’t count)
  4. Challenge your employees to get outside for at least 20 minutes during their workday, especially those working from home (take a walk or just soak up some Vitamin D)
  5. Video conference with your employees to ensure their remote workspace is ergonomically set up for their safety
  6. A step challenge – “Step Out of Quarantine”
  7. Encourage managing stress with self-care activities

And remember, you’re not alone in these challenges. Reach out to your local networks and share ideas.

Jennifer Smith is the Talent Acquisition and Retention Manager for Consumers Credit Union. She’s also a member of the Michigan Wellness Council Board of Directors.