April 30, 2018Posted by Hifyre Admin

Every year in April, the Hifyre team participates in what we fondly call the Step Off Challenge. Everyone tracks their steps for the month, charts them for the whole team to see, and engages in a little bit of healthy competition among coworkers and friends. The challenge is part of our broader Employee Wellness initiative that aims to put an emphasis on eating well, staying active, and generally living a healthy lifestyle.

This year we decided that instead of just running a small internal competition, we would “step it up” and make our effort both collaborative and for a good cause.

We chose to create a month-long step-a-thon towards a goal of 5 million steps. This got us working on a fitness goal collaboratively as a team. Additionally, we decided that there would be an incentive attached to the goal. When we reached the 5 million step goal, a donation would be made to Canada Learning Code, an organization dedicated to championing coding education across Canada.

We also wanted to involve and challenge the community and not just our internal team. So we put out calls on social media for others to join our challenge for the month. By increasing the number of participants in Step Off, the awareness for our chosen cause — Canada Learning Code — was also increased.

Let’s Get Ready to Rummbblleeeeee

Starting the challenge, each person on the Hifyre team was outfitted with a FitBit to track their steps, so that the measurement process was standardized. Anyone externally that wanted to join our effort of taking 5 million steps towards enabling coding education just had to have a FitBit of their own.

Next, we put together a website to track the group effort toward 5 million steps. The website doubled as a portal for external participants signing up. It also allowed us to offer a platform for other companies to support the initiative and get involved.

Using FitBit’s API, we were able to pull in step counts from everyone that had signed up to be a part of the Step Off Challenge. This allowed us to demonstrate to all participants, in real-time, the progress being made towards the common goal.

Stepping up

Over the month of the challenge, as we got closer to the 5 million steps goal, the energy on the team was palpable. We were excited to be working together on a common goal instead of making it all about who could be #1. We were equally excited that other people from outside Hifyre opted to help us reach our goal. In total, we nearly doubled the size of our team in external participants. For the team, it was inspiring to know that reaching our goal meant that Canada Learning Code was benefitting. When we reached our goal before the end of the month, the team was elated and proud of the accomplishment.

In addition to the moral boost that Step Off gave our team, we saw health benefits as well. Numerous team members commented that they were being more active than they used to be because they were driven by the challenge.

What’s next?

We would like to make future iterations of the Step Off Challenge into a movement — challenging employees across companies to work towards a fitness goal together. To do that, we need your help.

We’d love to learn about other employee wellness challenges that have been run. Have you ever participated in one? Organized one? Tell us about it in the comments.

Further, if you’re interested in getting involved in the next Step Off Challenge, as either a participant, or as a company — reach out to us. Send us a message!