Courtesy of Laura Silverman, KERA News
Workplace wellness is already a six-billion-dollar-a-year industry, and it’s growing. Employers are searching for programs that are both good for the beltline and the bottom line. The result? They’re gamifying corporate wellness programs.
Traditionally, the role of HR has been to prevent people from playing games at work, but the gamification of health and wellness programs – adding rules, rewards, games and social networking, has changed that. Companies like ESI, a global communications service provider based in Plano, are embracing new health wellness programs that feature points systems and competition.
“The people you least expect to participate do,” says ESI Human Resources Director Becki Veal.
Points For Play
The more active you are the more points you get. And points aren’t just good for virtual trophies.
“If they’ve hit 2,000 points within a five-month period,” Veal says, “You go into a drawing for two days off. And that motivates people because who doesn’t love a day off.”
There are also competitions among companies that use Sonic Boom in other states, and a feature called “Caught Ya Bein’ Healthy” — where you go online to send a message to a coworker who you saw doing something healthy, like grabbing an apple instead of a candy bar.
Tracking Who’s On Top
On the Sonic Boom website, people’s steps and activities are tracked and uploaded to an interactive site that features a list of top performers.
The man in spot number one, who goes by the code name ‘so close, so far’ averages around 25,000 steps a day.
Veal says even though most people use code names – everyone pretty much knows who’s who.
Since “so close but so far” started walking, he’s lost about sixty pounds.
- See more at breakthroughs.kera.org