This month I selected a really dedicated and involved admin Im talking weekly, sometimes bi-weekly, communications to her walkers with encouraging words, wellness information and congratulations to participants who excel in the program. Not only has she inspired her walkers to be active but she has also given me many of the ideas I use with other programs in designing challenges, incentives, and maps. Announcing Candice Cutler from the City of Scottsdale, read what she has to say below.
- Why did you start a walking program? My organization wanted to implement a step program that would motivate people to get moving. We felt that a pedometer where employees could visually see their daily activity would encourage them to meet their goals. Having a customized portal was a big benefit for us as well. The previous program we used required walking by a station to upload data. The self-reporting online option was the perfect fit for our needs and has helped increase activity amongst our employees.
- What is the hardest part about keeping/getting people active? The hardest part is getting communication to those that do not use a computer every day. Many of our employees work in the field and dont need to use a computer for work. Getting them to participate is tough, but a little motivation from their co-workers has been helping to increase participation.
- What has been the most rewarding part? The most rewarding part is hearing people say how the pedometer and the Walker Tracker Program has changed their exercise habits! The program is really encouraging lifestyle changes for those that use it. Co-workers are motivating each other to get out on breaks, before and after work and encouraging each other on the website. It is great to see positive communication among employees that is focused on activity.
- What advice would you give to people who want to start a walking/wellness program? Get upper management to buy-in and participate. When employees see their supervisors with a pedometer and they are encouraging participation, it really helps the workgroup get motivated. Also, find your wellness champions in each workgroup and have them encourage participation amongst their co-workers.
- Favorite feature on Walker Tracker? I really enjoy the email and points download function. I send out weekly emails reminding employees to enter their steps and to get a certain number of points per week to be entered into a weekly drawing for a gift card. I then download point totals and enter employees into the raffle. The winner is also announced via email and includes a bio of the employee. This has been a fun way for co-workers to get to know each other and it motivates them to keep participating so that they can be the next winner.
- Future plans/ideas/hopes for your walking program? I am excited for the new feature that separates steps from activity conversion. Many people in our group have been requesting a step only challenge. In the past, that required turning off the activity convertor completely. That option was not going to go over well with those that use it regularly and I didnt want to discourage activity. This new function gives the option to add up just steps and we are looking forward to our next steps only challenge.
- Any other comments I really appreciate Taylors help with all of our challenges. I love the ideas she comes up with and the maps and information she puts together for our group. Having her help out with all of the administrative works really makes my job easier. Thanks Taylor!