Engagement Through Exercise


You’ve seen the rise of wellness benefits, and probably thought, “Is this just another millennial demand?” It’s hard to ignore with more and more organizations building in-house gyms, hiring yoga instructors, mediation experts, and catering in healthy breakfast, lunch, and dinner. If you look past the pounds of fresh fruit and free massages, you wonder what spurred this health revolution in the workplace and how it can help your organization.


Fitness has a special place in JB’s history. Only after she moved to Chicago to work for JB did Courtney – President – discover her love for bicycling. And the comradery and diligence fostered at work motivated Nicole – Director of Operations – to run a full marathon 6 years earlier than planned.


At JB Training, we survey our employees on a yearly basis to gauge their personal preferences. The purpose of these surveys is twofold: to gather ideas for recognition tools (turns out – most people don’t feel rewarded with a generic Starbucks gift card) and to unite common interests among employees.


Exercise – among other hobbies – emerged as the activity that all employees marked as “most important” in terms of happiness and engagement. Without that survey, we had no idea of how essential our own personal health ranked in our lives. So with that, we implemented a change.





Our first promise to each other was to try every teammate’s preferred workout – no matter what skill level. Our activities ranged from yoga, to Soul Cycle, to boxing, and we even snuck a high-intensity internal training (HIIT) workout in to get our hearts pumping. This “Try Everything” approach made us vulnerable, but more importantly, it made us band together to help each other through tough situations.





We couldn’t believe how great we were feeling after a few months of new classes. Our team meetings began feeling like wellness checks, and we decided to motivate ourselves even more with a bit of healthy competition. What’s the Water Challenge? There were no ice buckets involved, but we each pledged to drink at least 100 ounces of water per day. Then came the no-added-sugar challenge. For 30 days, we pledged to eat only natural sugars, and ditch the fake sweetener. By the second week, we were sharing recipes and snacks to keep each other motivated through the rest of the month.


So, what’s next for engagement?





It’s our mission to share our hobbies with you. We’ve joined our clients in post-workshop spin classes, biked through Chicago for one of our summer outings, and even recruited an employee to join our team through a “sweatworking” event!



What keeps your team engaged?


We encourage you to send out surveys, poll your colleagues, and #tryeverything.  And if you like to work out as much as we do – let us know! We’d love to have you at our next group fitness outing.

Blog Post, Challenge
September 6, 2017