Adventure2 has more ways to connect with participants

Adventure2 has provided opportunities for employees to remain connected and support one another since 2017. With the pandemic changing how people live their daily lives, the fourth year of the program -- which kicks off Sept. 1 -- is taking on a new role while still providing some of the same incentives that promote a healthy work-life balance.

"It is not just this exercise-tracking tool," ISU WellBeing coordinator Stephanie Downs said. "It is really meant to be holistic and support employees and their managers."

About 40% of the more than 7,000 benefits-eligible Iowa State employees are registered for Adventure2, and Downs hopes the new offerings will encourage even more to try it.

In response to the pandemic, a greater focus has been put on the mental and emotional well-being of employees. Managers will receive tips on supporting employees through inclusion and belonging, Downs said. 

Timely upgrade

Limeade, which offers the libraries of wellness information Adventure2 uses, updated its product over the summer. It now includes a communication tool called "My Updates" to push information out to users. The upgraded app, Limeade ONE -- available in Apple and Google Play stores -- will be the primary landing spot for Adventure2. Access within the app begins Sept. 1.

Five channels were created:

  • Adventure2 -- Helps users find information about the offerings of the program.
  • We Care -- ISU WellBeing will push out messages like the Cyclones Care campaign, well-being services and other important information.
  • WorkLife at ISU -- Focuses on ways employees can balance work and life, and how managers can be supportive.
  • Cheers -- Participants can recognize the efforts of others taking part in Adventure2.
  • Campus Connections -- A channel for participants to share general messages about achievements, needs or ideas.

"This gives us the opportunity to connect with really important university messages from ISU WellBeing to We Care to Adventure2," Downs said. "We know it won't get in front of everybody, but we do know the audience that is in there is getting the message." 

Pivoting for a pandemic

Downs began to enhance offerings in March and April, focusing on maintaining connections when most employees left campus to work from home. Well-being Wednesdays provided a way to virtually connect and gain helpful information and insight.

"The pandemic has certainly elevated the need for the support that Adventure2 can provide," Downs said. "It is one tool and not the catch-all for everybody, but we really started to focus on the mental and emotional."

June and July saw an increased desire by users to find ways to be physically active and improve eating habits while remaining physically distant. Walk and Talks offer activity while making a virtual connection with a friend or through a Webex event set up by ISU WellBeing.

Core services

Along with changes, programming familiar to Adventure2 participants awards points and prizes for activities -- for example, gift cards -- as they progress. Team projects and goals also will remain.

"We will still have those exercise and fitness goals, and preventative exams are really important to the overall health of the employee," Downs said. "People really like those team challenges, and it is a way to meet others and connect."

Team events will include opportunities to pursue professional development through webinars and other virtual offerings, Downs said.