GCC Global Corporate Challenge - Workplace Pedometer Wellness Program

100-Day Workplace Team Pedometer Competition

Global Corporate Challenge
Global Corporate Challenge. Global Corporate Challenge

The GCC Global Corporate Challenge is a fun workplace wellness program that kicks off in May each year for 100 days. Larger companies can set their own start date for the program. It is team-based, with teams of seven forming within the company. Each participant receives a kit with a pedometer and a spare to track their steps. They record their steps on the GCC web site via computer or phone app. Teams engage in a virtual race around the world, moving on to new countries and learning about them along the way.

Teams see how they stack up via a Leaderboard, encouraging friendly competition and team motivation for each participant to log 10,000 steps per day. This is a fun way to use gamification to build healthy fitness habits in the workplace.
Global Corporate Challenge

The Global Corporate Challenge was founded in 2003 and by 2015 had engaged over 1.5 million people across 3,400 organizations in 185 countries. It is a worldwide program and clients include P&G, Tiffany & Co., Volvo and Sage.

Costs for the Global Corporate Challenge Workplace Pedometer Program

You can request a quote via the GCC web site to see how much it would cost depending on the number of teams or employees registered. An estimate we ran in 2013 for a company with 10 teams, the US cost is $99 per participant or $693 per team. Most companies do not pass that cost on to the employees who sign up for the program, but cover it as an employee wellness program.

What You Get with the Global Corporate Challenge

Each participant gets two Pulse accelerometer pedometers. They can be worn anywhere on the body, in a pocket, pack or purse. They only record steps and do not upload the data to the computer. Entry of steps and non-step activities such as bicycling or swimming is done by the participant via the web site or app, on the honor system.

Participants get 12-month access to the Global Corporate Challenge web site and app to continue logging their steps after the 100 days of the challenge.

The participants get trophies, certificates and personal coaching advice while in the program.There are weekly prize giveaways and fun weekly emails.

Employees can continue to get nutritional assessment and advice, participate in individual challenges, and create routes with an online mapping tool.

The company benefits by having a turn-key package with their own account manager, registration web site, promotional materials, real-time reports and end-of-event reports.

What One Company Experienced in the Global Corporate Challenge

I spoke with Steve Reid, a team captain for the winning team at Sage North America, and Stephen Brantley, their Benefits Analyst who managed the Global Corporate Challenge at Sage.

Why did they choose the Global Corporate Challenge? Brantley said they needed a quick wellness challenge they could host over the summer that would fill a void in their wellness offerings.

The length of the program seemed just right, enough to engage the employees through the summer. "From the get-go it looked different from other corporate wellness efforts," said Brantley. They liked the sleek look of the program, with healthy motivation built-in.

In 2012, Sage funded 80 teams nationwide. They started with 50 teams, but when the registrations "sold out" in 24 hours, they added more teams. With the second year in 2013, interest grew tremendously.

I asked if it was now competitive to get on a team, and aren't they risking leaving behind those who might need it the most? "Our philosophy is to meet you where you are. We aren't in the business of targeting a risky population. This program is 100 days of attempting 10,000 steps per day. It's not our position to force them to do it, but to promote the team environment," said Brantley. Sage offers a wide variety of wellness opportunities for those who don't make a team, and that is the trade-off of having an exciting, team-based program.

Captain of the Winning Workplace Pedometer Team Loses 20 Pounds

Steve Reid can tell you just how motivating the Global Corporate Challenge is. As captain of the winning team, he lost 20 pounds in 16 weeks (the length of the program in 2012). The program was fun from the beginning,with forming the team of seven co-workers and giving it a fun name such a Holy Walkamole or the Red Hot Chili Steppers.

During the weeks of the challenge, there was a lot of camaraderie with team members and across teams. It was regular water cooler discussion. Team members would wait until the end of the day to enter their steps, to keep them secret. The weekly Leaderboard was an event, with team members hitting "refresh" on the web page to be the first to see the results.

I asked whether the challenge appealed more to men than women. They thought it was equally engaging. Most of the teams were mixed gender, and Steve Reid said the women on his team were the most active in sending out emails to motivate their teammates.

Steve Reid said he saw an increase in the number of employees who walk at lunchtime, and they seem to have kept with that habit. It has had positive changes in behavior past the event itself.

Steven Brantley said says the biggest value was the engagement of the employees. "Anything that can drive participation is a win for us. We have seen an uptick in participation in our wellness programs since doing the Global Corporate Challenge last summer."

Sage recognized the top three team at an all-employee meeting. It wasn't planned or announced, but the program had taken on a life of its own. With the second year, interest is high and they look forward to this healthy competition.

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