Commercial steps up to boost staff wellbeing
An employee wellbeing initiative at Cheltenham-based business services specialist Commercial led to 40 staff taking nearly 13million steps in a six-week walking challenge.
Each participant was given a pedometer to track their progress. On average they walked 12,265 steps per day – beating the popular ‘10,000 steps a day’ fitness goal. The challenge was so popular and successful that it’s going to become an annual event.
To give a competitive edge, team and individual leagues were set up. The individual winner, senior cash clerk Rachel Dewhurst, achieved 770,645 steps in total, or 18,348 per day. A group of three business development managers, Liam Dutson, Lily Bryan-Adams and Craig Baldwin won the team league with 1,539,423 steps, averaging at 24,435 per person per day.
The challenge was part of Commercial’s ongoing Green Angels programme which stimulates and supports staff-led ideas for environmental and social initiatives. Jason Wakes, from the cyber services marketing department, was part of the Green Angels team that launched the idea.
In addition to the optional walking challenge, Commercial’s existing ‘Fruity Fridays’ with free fruit for all 225 head office staff was extended, with fruit replenished twice a week. This will continue on a permanent basis, and a smoothie maker has been provided as an alternative way for people to use the fruit and get their five-a-day. Staff were also given reusable water bottles to encourage them to keep properly hydrated.
Green Angels is Commercial’s award-winning employee engagement programme which involves cross-departmental teams developing transformative sustainability ideas. Every four months, ideas are pitched to the board and the successful team has funding cleared to bring its idea to life. Previous Green Angels projects have led to the development of a living wall and a state-of-the-art bike shed, as well as tackling issues such as recycling, helping Commercial become a zero waste to landfill company.
“We wanted to find a fun and engaging way to help people get fitter and healthier. There’s been a lot of noise in the media lately about the dangers facing office-based employees who spend too long sitting at their desks. The walking challenge got people thinking about how active they are, and encouraged them to make better choices, such as walking to work or taking the stairs. We hope these behaviours will continue now that the challenge is complete.”