Hot Topic: Do Step Challenges Really Work?

“In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. You find the fun and snap! The job’s a game!” These words were spoken by a wise woman that we’re all familiar with – Mary Poppins – and recalled by Ad Week’s Molly St. Louis in a recent article about the benefits of gamification when it comes to enhancing workplace productivity.

“…Games are designed with the human brain in mind, so every time you score a point, beat an opponent, or crack a code, the reward center in your brain lights up,” St. Louis explained. “A neurotransmitter called dopamine is activated in your brain whenever you achieve something positive… [When your brain receives a boost of dopamine it] keeps you coming back for more…”

The idea of gamification can be seen in many areas of the workplace, helping increase productivity and foster culture – and the area of employee wellbeing and wellness is no different.

We asked nearly 400 members of DHS Group Challenges over the course of the last year to weigh in on what benefits the “challenge aspect” brought to their quest for better wellness and wellbeing.

  • 93% of participants would like to do another challenge
  • 84% of participants were motivated to move more and increase their steps
  • 78% of participants said the competition aspect or their motivation to move more was their favorite part
  • 68% of participants found the challenge engaging

“I liked the competition, and [the challenge] pushed me to become more active in my daily life.”

“I need more exercise in the winter and this challenge gave me a good reason to follow through with the activity.”

“It’s great for employees in so many ways. Everybody shares their steps which opens the door to get to know each other on a personal level.”

“The main point [of gamification] is that it drives participation,” St. Louis said. “So, while collecting points and competing on leaderboards might have sounded a little tedious once, they’re actually the perfect way of stepping up your game – and make sure everyone’s playing.”

If your corporate wellbeing program didn’t put in the results you were looking for in 2017 or you’re interested in putting gamification to work for your wellbeing program in the year ahead, check out more information about Move – a module of DHS Group’s HealthSpective program that takes employee engagement to the next level and gets results through gamification and more (not to mention is always improving and building to meet the needs of customers).