In workplaces where employees have to do a lot of repetitive movements that require strength and agility, implementing a workplace stretching program can help reduce the occurrence of injuries. Workers who stretch throughout the day are less likely to tear a muscle or pull a tendon or ligament. They may also find that they become less sore throughout the workday. But once you have a stretching program in place, how do you get workers to participate? Here are a few ideas to help encourage participation.
Offer a small incentive at first
Once workers attend the stretching workshops a few times, they will realize how much better they feel, and that should prompt them to keep participating. But at first, they may need a little extra extrinsic motivation to get them started. Consider providing a small incentive for everyone who attends a stretching session the first week. This could be a slice of pizza for lunch, a free stress ball, a $5 gift card for a coffee shop down the street, or anything else small that you think your employees will like.
Talk about the benefits of stretching
When you first introduce the idea of stretching to workers, they might turn up their noses simply because they're not familiar with the idea. Educating them can help get them more informed, which in turn may make them more excited. So, keep attendance mandatory for a short 15-minute session. Have a personal trainer attend this session and talk about the benefits of stretching. Workers will be more likely to show up to stretching sessions if they know what they're getting into.
Keep the stretching sessions interesting
If the stretching sessions are just a bunch of people sitting silently in a room and stretching their hamstrings, workers are going to get bored, and then they're going to stop attending. So make an effort to keep the routines interesting. Have guest personal trainers come in now and then to guide the group. It's always interesting to learn from someone new. Let participants take turns choosing the background music for the stretching sessions. You could even stretch with a popular TV show in the background now and then. Get creative, and be open to worker suggestions, too.
Workplace stretching programs can be really beneficial, but only when people actually participate in them. With the tips above, you should have an easier time getting workers moving for the first time, and also keeping them around.