Behind every successful walking program is a superstar administrator. This month I am happy to introduce the “Walker Tracker Administrator of the Month” to our blog. This prestigious award is given to program admins that go above and beyond for the success of their walking program.
Below is an interview with Aimee McCarthy from Canon CITS. She has been running an excellent Walker Tracker program and knows what it takes to keep her employees motivated and the challenges exciting.
1) What made you want to start a walking program?
Our employees sit at a desk all day, answering phone calls from customers, so there is little opportunity to move during the workday. I wanted to implement a program that everyone could do, that wasn’t hard or complicated, and wasn’t intimidating, especially for employees who don’t currently exercise. Walking is something “easy” to do and can be fit it at various times throughout the day, wherever you are.
2) What has been the biggest struggle?
The hardest part is probably keeping engagement up. There are a group of people who sign up, but don’t ever log their steps and I don’t know if they are participating, but not getting online, or if they are just not using the pedometer at all.
3) The easiest/most successful part?
The site makes it easy to track and interact with other employees and that seems to be really enjoyable for participants. I love that we can do challenge after challenge with this program. Short-term goals seem to work best with our company wide challenges, and it’s nice to be working toward something new every few weeks or months.
4) What advice would you give to people just starting a walking program?
As with most wellness initiatives, communication and marketing will go a long way. Market the program in various ways, through email, flyers, word of mouth, any way that works for your population. Incentives are always a good draw to get people to participate. I periodically send out reminder emails talking about the challenge, showing the leader board, and reminding people to enter their steps on the site, which I think helps to keep engagement up.
5) Favorite feature on Walker Tracker?
Being able to text my steps in. The pedometers we bought don’t store data, so it makes it easy to text in your number and reset the pedometer at the end of the day. I also like the social aspect of it. It’s nice when participants post on the challenge board, but it’s not too much a part of the program for those who aren’t into social media.
6) Any other comments
We have enjoyed our time using Walker Tracker so far. I was hoping this system would be easier to use than walking programs we’ve done in the past and it has been. Reporting and tracking is very important and I like that I can do most of that right from the admin section of the website. Taylor is always really quick to respond and will give marketing materials for our new challenges which I really appreciate.