How To Create a Step Challenge?
If you are considering organizing a step challenge, then the following article is for you. Although the challenge of taking steps may seem like a fairly simple undertaking, in reality its success largely depends on good preparation and consideration of the details in advance. Here are 7 questions a challenge organizer should consider:
Table of Contents
Why Are You Organizing the Step Challenge?
There are various incentives to take the challenge. Often, initial inspiration begins with a testimonial about someone else's positive experience. However, why you would end up deciding to take the challenge on your own is largely based on the desire to promote the health of the employee or a sense of team unity. For this reason, it is important for you to formulate your motivation. This is the only way to measure and succeed.
If your plan is to implement a step challenge to promote team health, realistic expectations should be set. Long-term lifestyle change cannot be achieved with a short-term initiative. While this one challenge may become a life-changing starting point for some individuals, more is needed to change the company's culture and achieve long-term results (an ongoing wellness program).
In many cases, however, the priority is to create a unified experience and team spirit. Gathering steps is popular because it is a simplified activity that does not require the acquisition of a sporting ability or any specific skill. However, it is also important that the step challenge is not directly related to the stress of performing the workplace tasks, but on the other hand it positively enlivens the relations between the team.
When setting goals, it is always possible to start with a one-time challenge and create an improved plan for the implementation of long-term solutions based on the feedback received. However, it is important to formulate the first priority for yourself. In conclusion, the common denominator of the big picture is that the organizer of each step challenge wants to see that the experience makes people happier, more engaging and happier.
Who Is Participating in the Step Challenge?
When creating a challenge, it is important to know who you want to involve. Is it a whole company, just a small team, or an undefined group of people without a working relationship? Having a good overview of the people participating in the challenge is the basic precondition for its successful organization and communication.
The question is not just about the participation of a particular person, but whether the challenge itself takes place centrally at the level of individuals, groups or a collective. One does not rule out the other, but it does help to focus. For example, when a step challenge occurs between individuals, the numbers of people participating and exceeding the goal become more important, and the collective statistics of the enterprise as a whole become less important.
However, if groups are at the heart of the step challenge, it also changes the metrics that are important to the organizer. For example, the percentage of involvement of a particular department / group and the contribution of the average participant become important. Often, the group challenge works well in terms of increasing the team's sense of unity, but less so for the team as a whole.
However, the collective challenge is to take a different approach, focusing on moving as a single entity. In this case, it is best to link a specific goal to some measurable and understandable activity. For example, from point A to point B, the measured steps are converted into a donation to a specific organization. Of course, even in this case, the progress of individuals can be measured, but it is no longer so central.
What Is the Goal and Period of the Step Challenge?
Definitely, setting a goal for a step challenge depends on the focus group of the previous point. In any case, it's a good idea to consider that the average number of steps per person per day is estimated at 6,886 (this number varies greatly depending on location, gender, age, and other characteristics). This means that the rest of the calculations should be used as a basis. It is important to strike a balance between setting an affordable but effort-oriented goal, knowing that there are very different people involved.
When a goal is set for a specific number that participants are striving for, the number of people with different abilities and motivations comes to the fore quickly. Of course, many different challenges can be created at the same time, but this requires very well-thought-out communication without losing unity.
There is a common misconception that the goal of a step challenge can only be a certain number of steps. In fact, for example, one way to take a step challenge is to accumulate days instead. This means that the sub-goal is set in steps, and if it is exceeded, one completed day is written. In this case, the main target should be the number of days spent in a given period where the sub-target was exceeded. This shifts the focus more to lifestyle and consistency.
When it comes to the duration of short-term challenges, they usually range from a few weeks to a few months. It is certainly possible to set goals that last only one day or a whole year, but in the big picture, the challenge period should be exactly as long as the organizer can maintain the communication and motivation of the participants. This, in turn, is based on the original purpose. Statistically, the most common challenges are one calendar month long.
How Is Data Collection and Support Done?
There are two main ways to challenge the steps to collect data. Firstly, through manual entry and secondly through automated data traffic. While there are many activities where manual data collection might work well (read our challenge ideas), the step challenge is not one of them.
The reason lies in the fact that even if manual entry is allowed, people still have to measure their movement in order to reach objective numbers. So it makes perfect sense to find a solution that reduces the hassle of people measuring their steps and transmitting that information.
Today, there are so many different devices that measure the steps taken that the mere presence of a smartphone should not be an obstacle for anyone. While the technology is not flawless, it is becoming more accurate over time and makes it easier to take on the challenge step by step. All of this does not, of course, preclude the use of an optional extra tool to convert steps, for example for wheelchair users.
However, no matter how you measure the data in a step challenge, it is important to think about who will help the participants in case of problems. The idea that there are no obstacles means that the organizer does it himself. This is one activity that is often underestimated and is the last thing the organizer of the challenge would want to do. Realistically, this means the help of a platform partner.
If it is clear to the participants who to contact in case of possible technical or other questions, the tension of the organizer himself will be significantly reduced. This does not mean that you will not get any questions for the challenger, but the help of the service provider will help the organizer to deal only with what is important to him.
How Are Successful Participants Recognized?
Recognition for those who take part in the challenge of a step increases the number of participants and at the same time increases the probability of reaching the original goal. There are different ways to recognize participants, and this in turn should be based on the original purpose. If the focus was initially on the individual, for example, it is a good opportunity to reward everyone who was able to overcome the desired goal.
Of course, recognition is also affected by funding, but it does not always have to be related to it. For example, it may be verbal or, for a collective purpose, the joy of giving is often greater than that of receiving it (all participants know that the prize goes to those in need). In a limited budget environment, it is often wise to communicate with other departments where there may be a resource for souvenirs with corporate insignia, for example.
One thing that is not recommended is to award prizes only to a few of the most active movers. Then the challenge clearly becomes a competition in which participation itself is no longer of great value and it reduces the number of participants. There is one simplified solution for this - lottery prizes between those who achieve the goal. This way, the central focus does not go to the one and the most active. Of course, it is also possible to combine all of the above models.
How Is Communication and Feedback Done?
A communication plan is definitely needed for the step challenge. Keep in mind that this must happen before, during, and after the challenge. Depending on the size of the company, the transfer of information to the participants should start up to 2 weeks before the start. Here, too, it is good to use the help and experience of your partner if possible.
As involvement is a high priority, information on participation must be simple and unambiguous. You can always try solutions that make registration a stand-alone challenge, such as the added value of a team with the best turnout and the like.
As the company uses different tools for internal communication, it is important to think about where the information moves. Experience has shown that it is worth giving an overview of progress in a larger medium and as visually as possible, but a more detailed, up-to-date conversation is more in-house.
Once the step challenge is over, it would be important for participants to know what's going on and why. Listen to those who participated through the feedback and suggest the next steps accordingly. In addition, think about whether and what you can share the challenge of the successful step outside the circle of participants as a visual summary.
Which Partner Platform To Use?
It is clear that by 2022, the outdated approach is for employees to spend their valuable time entering data related to movement in Excel. However, this puts the last but perhaps most important decision on the table of the organizer of the challenge - to find a partner with a suitable platform with whom to discuss all the issues arising from the organization of the challenge and to implement it successfully.
There are many different solutions and partners to choose from. It is important to find the best value for money within your means. In addition, more options do not automatically mean a better solution. As participants' exposure to technology varies, often excessive additional features can add to the complexity. The following is a biased description of the three different providers, although it should be noted that the author of the article is biased towards YuMuuv.
First, let's look at the Wellable solution. It is an indisputably well-developed company. By using the platform they create, you can be sure that you will get a quality experience, but you must also be prepared to pay a very high price for it! Wellable platform single-step challenge full-service prices start at $5,000. Fast math says, for example, for a company with 100 participants, it makes $50 per person, not to mention smaller companies. These are numbers that few are ready to go out when there are many times cheaper solutions on the market, but the quality is high and guaranteed.
The next strong player in the market is MoveSpring. For them, too, you can be sure that you will get a high level of quality. At first glance, their pricing policy doesn't seem very high either, but it's important to remember that a $1,000 platform fee is added to the price. This means that instead of $8 per employee, a team of 50 members will have to go for $28 per employee. This, too, can be unavailable to many, not to mention all the extra services that cost extra.
Finally, YuMuuv is left. Here is a very clear pricing policy. There is a fixed price of $8 per employee for a one-time challenge and $2 per employee per month for a long-term solution. There are no hidden extras and a competent customer experience manager is guaranteed for everyone. Of course, there are even cheaper solutions on the market, but few would want them to save on help, for example, if someone really needs help (because it also affects the success of the step challenge).
If you want to get a quick overview of YuMuuv possibilities, book a demo and we will discuss the needs of your company together to organize the challenge!