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If you’re like most triathletes, it’s no secret in your office that you love to swim, bike, and run. Are you the person who goes beyond talking about your training and encourages your coworkers to sign up for their first triathlon? You’d probably be encouraged to find out that several companies have corporate wellness initiatives and it may be easier than you realize to convince your company that a corporate triathlon program is right for your workplace.
Companies of all sizes offer corporate wellness benefits for their employees. They range in scope from small perks like healthy food tastings to free gym memberships or corporate sponsored road races. Companies want to provide their employees with an environment that helps them retain the best talent. Danielle Grabol, CEO of Personal Care Inc in Decatur, Georgia explains: “In an increasingly competitive job market an employee wellness program can be a valuable benefit to help make your company a more lucrative place of employment.”
With an understanding of the benefits, the ability to mobilize the right influencers, and a little planning, you can make a powerful pitch to your company. Here are five key steps to take:
Understand and Communicate the Benefits of a Corporate Triathlon Program
Increasingly companies are interested in providing employees with ways to live healthier and happier lives. When you understand how the program can benefit your company, you’re more likely to get serious consideration from the right people. Start by looking at the types of employee wellness programs that your company already offers. Find out why they offer those specific programs and then try to find out if the company receives a benefit. Often companies get incentives from their insurance providers to offer programs like running groups or triathlon training to their employees which in turn adds to the company’s bottom line.
Beyond the obvious health benefits, triathlon offers increased employee satisfaction and camaraderie which is important to most companies. Amber Hosch, Health and Wellness Manager for WarnerMedia, has managed the corporate program for the past eight years. “The triathlon program allows an opportunity for employees to have access to amazing training options at work and in the community while allowing them to challenge themselves mentally and physically,” she says. “Relationships and friendships are formed across divisions and departments too which creates a huge sense of camaraderie and community.”
Keep in mind that when you enthusiastically pitch your corporate triathlon program, your company might like the idea, but executing can feel overwhelming to them. The best way to mitigate this is to find partners who can execute the program on behalf of your company. Your local triathlon club or a local coach is the best place to start. They’ll often have the resources and connections to set up the entire program for your company. It’s also helpful to find a local bike shop that can rent bikes, teach flat-changing clinics, and offer team discounts. Finally, reach out to your local race directors to choose the right event. They can often offer discounts or even alter the course if needed to accommodate a larger corporate group.
Find a Champion
Over 200 employees have participated in the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Tri Possibilities program thanks to Linda Matzkiet, the Chief Administrative Officer. After she finished her first Ironman, she was looking for a way to give back to the triathlon community and, as a result, a corporate triathlon program was born.
If possible find someone like Linda within your company. They should have an interest in corporate wellness and enough influence to help you get the program started. Have coffee with them and share your vision and your plan. Ask them what you need to do to get the program started at your company and ask if they would be willing to help get the right people on board. If you can’t find a triathlete like Linda, look for a runner or fitness enthusiast.
It’s easy to have aspirations of seeing every person in your company crossing the finish line at their first triathlon, but be willing to start small. Ask your company if you can start with a pilot program. Companies often like this idea because it lets them try something new without the risk or work required with a full implementation. If your company isn’t on board yet, get a handful of your coworkers to participate in an event with you. Share your experience with the right people and talk about how you can scale the program in the future.
Share Your Corporate Triathlon Program Experiences
If you get a corporate triathlon program up and running, one of the most important things you can do is to share your experiences with company leadership. They want to know that the program they’ve invested in is benefiting the employees. Take pictures while training and tag your company, collect stories and share them with the right people in your company throughout the season, and finally sit down with your leadership at the end of the season to talk about the things you’ve learned and how to improve the program for the next season. The more you communicate with your leadership, the more invested they will become with the program.
A corporate program can be a lot of work, but the benefits are innumerable. From helping people improve their health to providing a sense of employee satisfaction, crossing the finish line with your coworkers can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your season.