Step challenges are often taken within the context of a company wellness solution. While they can often be effective, let’s be honest, not everyone is so gung-ho about their competitive corporate fitness programme.
Obviously, there will be those who do and competing with co-workers can help to increase morale at work also as well as having the added benefits of a fit and healthy workforce. Some corporate wellness programmes, however, do have the negative aspect of feeling somewhat forced and so tend to dip in terms of both participation and effectiveness over time.
Keeping your workforce engaged in your wellness programme is a key factor in any programme’s success.
It is much easier to maintain this form of engagement with someone you share strong social ties with. That is to say something which goes beyond ‘just’ the workplace and has common interests that extend beyond the confines of work.
While competing with co-workers can be beneficial it does not have the same effect as competing with a best friend. The ‘community’ aspect is much more personal and engaging. You wouldn’t think twice about sharing friendly banter or trash talk with a friend but you almost certainly would with your boss. This is especially true if you are unsure whether he or she may take your comments the wrong way.
Not only that, but there is often an on-going aspect about steps challenges that blurs the lines between work and personal life. Co-workers and bosses alike do not really want to be sending messages to one another after work hours which can easily happen with communal workplace challenges.
Social Ties bring out competition
When closer social ties are in place it is much easier to evoke a sense of ‘belonging’ and create challenges that, quite simply, are more meaningful. In essence, these social ties are the building of microcommunities and needn’t be tied down to just familial or relationship ties. They can be anything from connections from the same university, the same professional group, the same city or district, having similar hobbies etc. The overriding positive aspect behind these microcommunities is engagement with people more likely to take an active interest because it is something which means something to them on a more personal level.
That is not to say that these types of microcommunities cannot be achieved in the workplace because they can, however, they are more layered than simply ‘accounts’ vs. ‘IT support’ for instance. This makes them more effective because competition becomes more relatable than where you happen to sit in an office.
When stronger social ties come into play so does a greater motivation to succeed and follow through with achieving your goals. In fact, the motivation which is generated from these shared social ties is often far greater than that generated from a tangible reward. Getting ‘one up’ on a friend can mean more than winning a store card through a work challenge.
That is not to say that tangible rewards are not a good thing because clearly they are (and we believe in them too!) but when it comes to motivation having a personal tie to something creates much more of a willingness to achieve than any kind of external reward.
How do you stack up?
At Cardio Legend, our platform allows users to join groups that reflect their own personal preferences and maximise these social ties and microcommunities. That way our users can see how they stack-up within these communities creating a whole new dimension to being active and keeping fit. This method means that users can increase their engagement factor within their fitness programmes and see their status and social capital grow within a microcommunity that means something for them.
The added value and the increased depth of significance that this has makes the platform give back as much as you put into it, putting an end to superfluous challenges and wellness programmes that just don’t cut it.