Friday, April 22, 2016

On the Hunt for Health & Fitness Motivation

Posted by Zeke Pendexter

Here at Kepware, we have a small team of employees that get together and talk about how to motivate people to get active and live a healthy lifestyle. These discussions usually result in organizing a health-related “event” that is open to the entire company. Events include weekly workout classes, seasonal fitness challenges, and—my favorite—scavenger hunts. While the first two are effective in getting people to the Kepware gym, it's the scavenger hunts that attract the most employees and get a lot of buzz in the office.

You may be asking yourself, how can a scavenger hunt motivate people to live a healthy lifestyle? It's a good question. Let me explain by describing our latest event, the Winter Scavenger Hunt.scavenger-blog-hat.jpg

The Kepware Fitness Team created a list of about 25 tasks to complete before separating participants into teams of five. The tasks were varied, ranging from team building and emotional well-being (“Go to lunch/happy hour with your team”) to physical (“Shovel snow for an hour”). Tasks also ranged in terms of physical demands, the easiest being “clean the snow off of someone else’s car” and the toughest being to climb Mount Washington.

Employees were required to submit photographic evidence of their tasks in order to get credit for it—and this is where it got fun! We built a community page on our company intranet that allowed all employees to take a look at what was going on. Personally, I feel like this was a big factor in the success of this event—people wanted to post their photos and compete against other teams!

In short, the team that completed the most tasks won a prize. However, we also included a few other prizes that participants could win via a raffle drawing. Participants received raffle tickets based on how many tasks their teams completed, and had the chance to win bonus tickets throughout the event. Bonus tickets were given for best photo, fastest 5k time, biggest fish caught, and more. These bonus tickets really made things fun because they inspired people to submit truly awesome photos that then in turn sparked conversation and engagement between teams.

scavenger-blog-washington.jpgAlright, let’s discuss motivation. I get a little carried away talking about the scavenger hunt because it’s an event that has had a great impact on our company. It fostered employee relationships, promoted healthy lifestyles, and lightened the overall atmosphere of the workplace. I’ve talked with many coworkers who told me it got them to exercise more, find common ground with other employees, and to get outside the bubble of their daily routines and activities. Hearing this confirmed our theory: fun activities with prizes is all you need to get people motivated. Just kidding! It’s all about working as a team and having fun that motivates people to get up and get out there.

One other thing I wanted to share is the number of people that participated in this event. Out of the 110 employees that we have at our office, 55 signed up. 50% of our company was interested in doing this event! I don’t know about you, but that is a pretty great stat to me!

How does your company motivate employees to be healthy and active? What kinds of activities do you do? I’d love to learn more about similar events you participate in that nurture the work/life balance. Please leave a comment below. You just might give the Kepware Fitness Team something to discuss and plan for spring!