Post # 1
I have to have a vent ladies!!
In April of this year, my firm did a walking contest for a month. They gave everyone a pedometer and tracked our steps. I was full on board doing this competition because they did a weight loss competition last year and paid the winner $200! I thought, okay, they are having a winner in each office (we had 3 offices at the time, now have 4) and would pay maybe $100 to each winner. I ended up winning, and was so excited as I woke up early every morning to go walk and basically paced back and forth in our townhome until bedtime every day!! I was waiting to see what my prize would be….a freakin’ water bottle with a survival kit (poncho and bandaids). I checked it out online, it was a whopping $20 on clearance.
Today we get an email with details about a new weight loss challenge. This year they are going to lengthen the competition from one month to start next week till the end of the year, basically one more month. They will have 6 winners (first place male and female get $200, second gets $100, and third gets $50).
My vent: SO NOT FAIR!!!! It’s great they promote these things, but how they reward the active people versus how they reward the people who are need to or want to lose weight is not fair.
I do love my firm otherwise, but come on!!
Post # 3
@meke: Huh? I’m not understanding what your frustration is with the way they’re running things for this second competition…
Post # 4
@meke: for the weight loss competition do they do it based on lbs, or percentage of bodywieght lost. If it’s based just on lbs, that’s kinda bullshit
Post # 5
@allyouneedislove: seems pretty straight forward. Her reward for being the most active was worth about $20. The winners of the weight loss competition will get between $50 and $200.
@meke: Have you expressed your concerns to whomever is in charge of these events?
Sometimes employers have larger budgets and are able to offer better prizes.
Often employers are trying to do the right thing but simply can’t look at it from all angles.
Is there a committee where employees can particpate? Have you volunteered?
Post # 6
@allyouneedislove: Julies got it right, my frustration is with the prize amounts. I’m an active person and the weight loss challenge winner gets cash.
@futuremrs1986: It is the percentage, which will work out well this time since they are having both men and women win. Problem is, at most I could only lose 5%. There are two other girls in this office that are skinny (can eat anything and not gain weight), so this challenge also does nothing for them.
@julies1949: There is no committee for it. Unfortunately it is put on by our HR and the HR assistant. The HR is the wife of the partner in our main office in SC. Her assitant is someone totally random, very nice, but I still don’t think it’s a good idea to say much.
Post # 7
That BLOWS! But I get why they’re doing it that way (even though it stinks because you’re basically guaranteed not to win).
Post # 8
@meke: I would still send them your feedback. You can do it in a polite way.
These competitions are designed to prod employees into making healthier life choices, so the company saves money on things like sick time, loss of productivity, cost of benefits etc, but they don’t reward the people who already do this on a regular basis.
Could you propose that next time the prize money be split evenly between two competitions- one for those making positive changes and one for those with an ongoing commitment to fitness? You could get one entry for every day that you engage in a fitness related activity.
That way the empoyer gets what they want, and all the employees can participate.
Post # 9
I think these things are TOTALLY unfair for the people in the office who are already small/fit…I’m sorry I don’t want to lose 10lbs so I don’t even get a chance to win the $100.
same with the smoking competitions and getting allotted amount if money for quitting. I never smoked. Maybe I should automatically get the money for taking care of myself from the beginning.
Lol sorry for the rant but seriously. It’s so dumb. My clinic does it every couple months.
Post # 10
@julies1949: I get why they are doing this, and it is for the things you mentioned. I think that is why they are offering $700 to more people this time around so more will participate, which will benefit them in the end.
The HR assistant actually sent out an email yesterday about the competition coming. I emailed her back stating if the prize is money again, I said it would be unfair and I was going to strike! I said it in a joking way with a “haha and a smiley”. Her response back was that it was probably unfair that I won the walking competition, she ended it with a smiley too, so I just let it be.
@Laurenskii: That’s okay for the rant, your reasons are why I was ranting too! 🙂 I have never smoked either, I would be so mad at a competition like that!! My last job offered smoke breaks for those people who did smoke, maybe I should have asked for a daily pay for a 10 minute break to be added onto my paycheck! haha
Post # 11
@meke: I DO feel kinda happy because we had the smoke break thing as well and next year if you are a smoker they are taking $150 out of your pay check. my friends/coworkers are super pissed about this because they all smoke but honestly as nurses and knowing the effects I can’t feel bad for them hahaha
im all for people getting healthy and losing weight or quitting smoking but it’s really sad that they are doing it for these reason instead of for themselves!
Post # 12
@meke: One of my friends has since quit and moved on, but her boss smoked constantly. Every time she got up for a smoke break, my friend got up for a non-smoking break and walked out to the end of the sidewalk and back while her boss smoked a cig. How can you complain about that? (as the boss)
Post # 13
Think of it this way… if you don’t have any weight to lose, you’ve already won 🙂
Post # 14
@meke: I don’t like the idea of a work weight loss competition at all. What if someone has been told to try to gain some weight?
Post # 15
That’s not fair! And her comment that it wasn’t fair that you won is rude! Just because you make the right choices doesn’t mean you have to be excluded from everything.
I don’t think these things really work, we have one every year and most people who lose significant weight gain it back after the competition including the female winner.
Post # 16
@mu_t: +1 exactly my reaction… it’s great that you’re already active, OP… now let this be a motivator for people who need to make a major lifestyle change, not people like you who will continue to live an active lifestyle with a competition or not :).