How to do a team step challenge

How to do a team step challenge

A team step challenge is great way to get your people moving and walking. By getting people to participate, it shows that you -as the employer or manager – actually care about your employees health!

By turning it into a challenge you can get entire teams to get involved. Not to mention that it’s one way of building team spirit, and reducing work related stress!

However, any team step challenge works well if it is led by employees. You can do your part by encouraging it – but if no one is on board then it will be less engaging – and not as fun 🙁

It doesn’t have to be steps (walking) – if you reach out to your employees you might get a better idea on what sort of challenge to create. For example, a large part of your workforce may be going to the gym – so you can simply do a challenge around attendance or even workouts. Maybe your employees are into yoga or meditation – so you can create challenges around that.

There is no one-size fits all solution to this. How you conduct the challenge is totally dependent on your organization and employees. You can do it at the organization level, department, team, or any group level.

Generally speaking though, to do a team step challenge:

1. Communicate with your employees to get buy-in

Find out who will be interested. Once you have a reasonable number, then you can communicate the challenge with them.

Determine an appropriate start date and how long it will go for. Using the Tracker available below, define any rules you want to establish as well.

2. Design your incentive or reward program

It’s important to keep people motivated to do such a challenge. This is easier if it is an employee led program. Personal health should be a good motivator for individuals, however tying a more tangible prize or reward will continue to motivate people and make it a little more fun!

See below for ideas on this.

3. Assign a number of employees as champions

Your champions will continue promoting the challenge, holding people accountable, and overall, act as the marketing team for the challenge – after all people can lost interest over time!

4. Determine how you will track progress

Below is a simple Google Sheet Step Challenge tracker you can use. It is completely free. You can try something more advanced for larger teams or businesses, however something like this tracker is simple to use, you can easily have all team members add their details, and it is easy to use.

This is a publicly shared document – so please make a copy of this before you distribute the link to your teams!

Download to your drive by clicking on ‘Use Template’ first

You will need to have a Google (Gmail) account to do so. Simply click on ‘Use Template’ then if you like ‘File’ and ‘Make a Copy’ to make an additional copy.

Make sure to save the template to your drive. Then share your own copy with your colleagues.

What are some incentives to use for a fun step challenge?

Tying some sort of reward or recognition is beneficial obviously. On the other hand you don’t want people cheating – as it is very easy to do – for the sake of the reward.

Personal achievement and integrity should be the focus of the communication.

However, if you do decide to create some sort of price or reward around the challenge, here are a few ides you can use:

Zero to low cost:

  • Create a wall of fame (for remote teams, you can create a team chat, or check out for setting up a social platform)
  • Certificate (or e-certificate)
  • If you have a rewards program, you should be able to tie it into that
  • Mentioning the winner in a team or company meeting

Ideas that cost a bit:

  • Gift voucher
  • Experience voucher (e.g. Redballoon)
  • Coffee or meal vouchers
  • Physical prize
  • A donation to a charity of choice based on the total steps achieved

How to motivate people to complete a step challenge?

Over time interest among team members can fall down. That’s okay and it’s nothing to worry about. But having more people actively continue with a challenge is much more fun and fulfilling.

So, you need to market it, promote it, and remind people, like you would a business! Yes, challenges like this do need a bit of a marketing spin on them. So put on your marketers hat and get creative.

Here are a few things you can do to continue motivating people.

  1. Create an incentive that has a higher purpose. For example a donation to a third party charity.
  2. Mention the leaders in any regular meetings held (e.g. daily stand ups, weekly team meetings, or regular business meetings)
  3. If you have a regular newsletter (or email), add the progress to that
  4. Create a daily or weekly target
  5. Change meetings to walking team meetings
  6. Even virtual meeting can be done by getting all participants to walk as the meeting continues!
  7. Do regular prizes, instead of a once off at the end – this will help people who fall behind to stay pro-active. For example do winners by day or by week, rather than at the end of the entire challenge.

Finally, keep re-inventing the challenges. You don’t have to do steps. You can break it up with other activities or even create a different challenge all together. For example, you can change it from steps to any other exercise (pushups, sit ups, squats, lunges, etc). This will depend on your team members – not everyone may be able to do these – so make sure you get everyone’s buy-in.

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