“Why You Should Offer Your Employees A Gym Membership Incentive!”
Over the course of the Covid-19 through 2020 and 2021, individual health shot up the agenda in a big way. From an employer’s perspective, this was part of a long term, growing trend seen amongst employees.
As such it is not surprising that even as society opens up, the focus on fitness has not receded. In fact if anything, it has intensified.
Now that all restrictions have been lifted on everything from gyms and fitness clubs to swimming pools and stadiums, the desire has been met with the means and it has caused an explosion in popularity. Increasingly, employers are realising the power of offering on-site gyms and reduced corporate memberships as employee benefits.
As such, we’ve taken the time to write this article where we will be examining the benefits of an employee benefit scheme for both employee and employer with specific focus on these benefits in the wake of the Covid-19 Pandemic.
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A History of Steady Growth into A Fitness Explosion
Reduced corporate gym memberships and on-site gyms are nothing new, yet they’ve gained massive popularity in recent times.
The popular app, Engage, reported a 32% increase in the trend of employees demanding gym membership discounts from employers in April 2021. It is no stretch to imagine that this came as a result of the desire to return to the crossfit trainer after sustained periods of lockdowns and closed gyms.
We are confident that this trend isn’t just a kneejerk reaction to the pandemic. The public desire for fitness and wellness has been on a steady but significant rise for over a decade. This has been borne out time and time again on surveys of both employees and the general population.
The current demand we are seeing is built on a solid foundation of a general consensus and desire for fitness. The benefits of the Gym and other organised fitness environments have lived large in the public consciousness long before the Covid-19 pandemic and this has merely solidified the myriad benefits of a healthy lifestyle.
The fact that between 2011 and 2019, the number of UK gyms doubled. It is apparent that this was a rise in supply to meet an ever growing demand. A demand that has only been intensified over the period of 2020 to 2022.
So, how can we use our knowledge of this growing desire for fitness and transplant it into tangible benefits within the workplace?
How fitness benefits benefit both employees and employers
Perhaps one of the biggest strengths of fitness and Gym memberships as an employee benefit is its universality. It is a benefit that helps employee and management alike in both their personal and professional life.
It is therefore little surprise that we are seeing more businesses incorporate fitness into their workplaces and workplace benefit packages.
Let’s examine some of the benefits that Gym or fitness club membership can bring to a workplace.
Increasing the General Fitness Level
While this might seem like a given, we aren’t so much looking at the increase in fitness as what it represents and the powerful knock-on effect it can have.
Studies have proven that even thirty minutes of working out a few times a week can yield significant health and morale benefits. Now replicate this across an entire office.
An increased level of fitness can mean increased self-esteem, confidence, wellbeing and even team cohesion. Even if employees within a given team or company aren’t going to the Gym together, they have a shared place of interest. It has been shown that employees going the same Gym together will deepen their personal and professional bonds.
In addition to all these benefits, an employer can take statistical solace in the knowledge that more active workers have been proven to take fewer sick days, to be happier in their work and more productive.
And speaking of which…
Higher productivity levels
The impact of productivity can be so profound that it warrants its own section. If the employee Gym membership scheme has enough up-take and regular engagement, a workplace can see significant improvement to its energy and morale levels. In turn, these benefits quickly spread to nearly all aspects of an employees personal and profession life.
A stronger, healthier and more motivated workforce is something no employer would pass up. And it is all the better if they can partially trace the origin of their happiness to the employers Gym membership benefit scheme.
Exercise has been proven to have a tangible effect on both stress and mental health. I know I always feel a whole lot better after 30 minutes on a Crossfit trainer. We all know the science at this point (further proof of a rising public knowledge of health and physical fitness).
By releasing endorphins through exercise, people are more able to navigate the trials and tribulations of everyday life. Including work! In turn, an employer can look forward to stronger attendance and employee performance.
By offering Gym membership as part of an employee benefit package, a company is demonstrating their commitment to their employees wellbeing.
Company culture has become a huge element in recruiting and then retaining the best staff. As such, employee benefits have come to form a core pillar of any corporate culture or employer ethos
To take it one step further, an employee Gym membership scheme as part of a benefits package shows that a company understands the values of the era. It shows that they take a dynamic, money-where-their-mouth-is approach to fitness. Prioritising their employees physical and mental wellbeing by offering them benefits that have a broader impact in their lives beyond the workplace.
Different methods to improve fitness within the workplace
It is only natural that fitness in the workplace will take a different shape for every business. There are a lot of options to choose from, but we’ve narrowed it down to a few. We will be discussing the pros and cons.
Providing Free gym membership as an Employee benefit.
With many owners now setting aside a set amount of money ‘per head’ for their Employee Benefit scheme, a free Gym membership is becoming increasingly viable.
It hits that sweet spot of being just enough that your Employees will notice and appreciate the gesture, without being pie-in-the-sky, like a company car for everyone. Given the number of benefits we have already discussed, you won’t be surprised that this gets our seal of approval.
Providing Reduced gym membership as an Employee benefit.
Alternatively, if the budget can’t stretch to free Gym membership, there is plenty of leeway when it comes to just reducing the cost.
The two most popular methods for this involve salary sacrifice, where the employees sacrifice a very small portion of their wage in order to help fund the membership. This method is as flexible as it gets. The split can range from 1% to 99%.
The value for this will nearly always work out favourably because businesses generally get a collective discount. The power of collective bargaining!
If you have the space and the funds, an on-site Gym could definitely be the way forward. However for many companies this will be too expensive and inhibitive. It requires a significant amount of money, expertise and space within an office place.
In addition, with the rise of Working From Home in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is less likely that an employee will actually be in the office than ever before.
Want to find out more about Gym Membership as an employee benefit?
Interested in exploring the potential of a Corporate Discount Gym Membership scheme for your Employees?
Here at Ashbourne, our twenty five years experience within the Fitness industry allow us to offer you a wealth of experience and resources. Having overseen and assisted the implementation of these schemes with our partners, we are confident that we can help your Gym or Fitness Club obtain new members and increase your standing and profile in the local area.
Are you interested in obtaining and enacting an employee Gym membership scheme in your workplace? Drop a message me a message, I’m contactable on [email protected]