StepJockey launched its first workplace stair climbing challenge in November 2014, and since then we’ve been running successful stair climbing challenges all over the world, clocking up over 61 million steps.
Nearly all our Challenges have attracted strong participation and this is
But what makes the difference between a challenge that engages 10% of an organisation's people and one that attracts 30% or more? We’ve been trawling our data and the broader peer-reviewed evidence and think these four simple hacks can make all the difference.
1. Leadership counts
Three directors from property giant Jones Lang LaSalle each set up teams in different offices across the UK during one recent challenge, and completed one of our most successful and fast paced challenges to date, collectively burning over 80,500 calories in just 4 weeks. Why does leadership involvement make such a difference? We suspect there are three key reasons: it signals permission to participate; it generates strong
Why does leadership involvement make such a difference? We suspect there are three key reasons: it signals permission to participate; it generates strong attention; and it gently establishes a level of expectation within an organisation. In simple terms, by ‘walking the walk’, leaders point the way for others.
2. Prizes motivate
Gentle competition is a great motivator in of itself but prizes have a big impact on participation. It’s partly because, as every behavioural science student knows, incentives work and also, we suspect, because prizes demonstrate a level of corporate goodwill and commitment. But prizes don’t have to be material or even directly benefit participants. Charitable donations can work, as can simple name checks and recognition. It’s also important to design prizes well so they are not confined to rewarding the highest ranking teams and individuals. We suggest
It’s also important to design prizes well so they are not confined to rewarding the highest ranking teams and individuals. We suggest rewarding collective performance in addition to offering team and individual prizes across a range of categories from ‘most improved’ to ‘best stair buddy’.
What’s the difference between a corporate challenge with prizes and one without? In our original trials, the incentivised cohort increased its stair use 800% compared to 500% in the non-incentivised group. And we see that pattern repeated in almost every challenge we run.
In London City Hall’s Everest Challenge, for example, teams were offered shopping vouchers as prizes, and they went on to complete their challenge in just one week, collectively burning over 50,000 calories every single day. We had to more than double the collective target to extend it to run for a month.
3. Communication counts (big time!)
Perhaps our greatest learning has been the vital role of internal communications teams in maximising involvement with StepJockey stair climbing challenges. Again, it’s obvious but unless an organisation can efficiently let its people know about a new initiative few are likely to learn about it and participate.
On the other
That’s why at StepJockey we engage with internal communications teams from the very start of the process. They should be sitting alongside the HR and wellness experts from the outset and on an equal footing. It’s also why we have created a comprehensive online Communications Toolkit containing everything a comms professional needs for a successful launch. From bespoke printable posters and leaflets to ready-to-use email, intranet and internal social media content (including images!), it’s all there ready to go within minutes.
4. Champions seed and magnify
It’s well documented that wellness champions are an essential ingredient in successful workplace wellness initiatives and for early seeding of stair climbing
So what makes the ideal wellness champion and how do you find them? There are no hard and fast rules but in
Recruit just 20 champions to start a team of five or six and almost any challenge will get off to a flying start. But remember, your champions have got to recruit non-champions to their teams and not each other!
Learn more about our affordable stair climbing challenges and how they’re driving an 800% increase in stair use in buildings big and small.Find out more
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