Applauz Blog

How Applauz Uses “Wellness Challenges” to Keep Its Employees Connected and Happy

Published: February 15, 2022

Last Updated: March 7, 2022

  4 min read

By: Michelle Cadieux

wellness challenges

Here's how Applauz keeps its remote employees connected with wellness challenges facilitated by the Applauz Newsfeed!

When you think of Applauz, you probably think of recognition.

Indeed, peer-to-peer recognition is one of the main components of the platform. However,  Applauz can be used in other ways to boost connection and engagement.

Namely, the Applauz Newsfeed can be used as a virtual meeting place for people to get to know one another. 

This is especially meaningful for employees who work remotely. People who work from home full-time can sometimes feel lonely. In this context, it's important for leaders to intentionally create opportunities for people to get to know each other.

Great ideas can come out of difficult circumstances

That said, as you may have guessed, the Applauz team is 100% remote. And we use Applauz to keep each other connected through recognition, but also with monthly challenges.

Applauz launched this initiative in winter 2021. It was a period of strict COVID restrictions and long, cold winter days. It was hard on everyone! And Applauz wanted to keep its employees moving, active, and connected despite the difficult circumstances.

So the monthly "Wellness Challenges" was born!

We've seen so much success and participation among our team members that we wanted to share these ideas with our community. These ideas will hopefully inspire you to explore new ways to use Applauz.

That said, you may notice Applauz's CEO is the one leading this initiative. Leadership involvement is critical to a cultural initiative's success. Even if they are not coming up with the ideas, at the very least, leadership should show their support to the group that organizes these initiatives. In short, they should be actively promoting these initiatives and encouraging employees to get involved. The bottom line, when leadership is present, participation is more likely to be maximized.

8 Wellness Challenges You Can Start On Applauz to Boost Engagement

Wellness scavenger hunt

The "wellness scavenger hunt" was our very first social initiative in March 2021. Employees were encouraged to participate in any wellness activity for over a month. It could be running, yoga, skiing, hiking, cooking, drawing -- it was entirely up to them. Each activity completed earned them a point. 

To "prove" they had done an activity, employees posted pictures of the activities theyWellnessChallange-1200x1200 completed on the Newsfeed for everyone to see. As you can see this beautiful collage of photos of all our employees enjoying outdoor activities!

Posting photos to the Newsfeed has two benefits. First, it helped the hosts keep track of the activities. But most importantly, it sparked conversations as people learned more about each other's interests and hobbies.

At the end of the month, the hosts tallied up the points to see which people performed the most activities. Prizes were awarded to the winners!

Additional Points were awarded to those who achieved first, second and third place. With those points, the winners could shop the Applauz Rewards Marketplace for real tangible gifts they could have shipped straight to their homes.

Gratitude practice

Gratitude is another practice that we strongly believe in at Applauz. In this monthly challenge, the company's CEO asked everyone to share something they are grateful for. 

Almost every employee participated; some even posted twice! Employees shared pictures of their family, friends, pets and shared other encouraging words. 

These posts helped employees stay connected -- even while we work remotely. And most importantly, it allowed us to see a different side of each other, helping to create stronger bonds between employees. 


Run a collective marathon

With spring coming, we wanted to get our employees outside. The company was then challenged to run a collective marathon during a month-long period. 

People would post the results of their runs to the Newsfeed to show they had completed a run. The CEO of the company kept track of the results. 

At the end of the month, the entire Applauz team had collectively run not just one but two collective marathons! We doubled our goal. And almost every employee participated in the challenge. In fact, many continued running after the challenge ended. 

Share something that makes you smile

Positivity is in the DNA of Applauz. We wanted to launch a challenge that would promote and spread positivity around the company. 

For this monthly wellness challenge, Applauz's CEO asked people to share positive content that has impacted them. It could be a song, video, quote -- anything that brings positivity to their life. 

Almost every employee took part in the challenge. Employees exchanged and shared videos, photos, and thoughts. Ultimately, this made everyone feel a little closer and helped boost morale. 

Get to know your colleague 

Since March 2020, all of Applauz's employees have worked from home. And we also have been hiring new team members since that time. So we have many employees who have never met each other in person. We created this monthly challenge to help people know one another better. 

Each employee was randomly assigned to meet with another employee. The goal of the meeting was to ask each other questions and discover something interesting about their past, present, and future. Using that information, employees were asked to summarize their conversation with their coworker and post it to the Newsfeed. The employee who posted the best "mini-biography" was awarded Applauz Points. 

Many of our employees participated and said they enjoyed getting to know their coworkers better. Particularly when meeting with a colleague they rarely work with. Many employees met over zoom to chat. And some said they ended up having hour-long conversations! 

What is your new year's resolution?

At the start of January, the Applauz CEO encouraged employees to share their new year's resolutions with the company. 

It was a simple challenge, and almost everyone participated and shared their resolutions with everyone on the Newsfeed. It was great to see employees encouraging and supporting each other towards their personal goals. 


Nutritional challenge

This year, Applauz will begin the new year with a nutritional challenge. In this challenge, Applauz's CEO challenges every employee to improve the amount of water they drink per day. We all know that most of us don't drink enough water! 

Towards the end of the week, each employee should update the Newsfeed with how much water they drank. At the end of the challenge, everyone's water intake will be tallied, and the person who consumed the most water wins Applauz Points. 

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Final Thoughts

Applauz is a multi-faceted tool. It can be used for recognition – of course, but also to enhance social and culture-building activities.

The Newsfeed is a virtual meeting ground for remote employees to get to know one another. And unlike a zoom happy hour, participation is not forced. So interactions happen more organically and naturally. 

We will continuously update this list to add more wellness challenges to the calendar. If you’re interested in staying connected to how Applauz uses Applauz, make sure to sign up for our Newsletter!

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