Steptember: encouraging a more active workplace

The month of September has ended, and with it the Easy Weddings activity for the month, Steptember.

What is Steptember?

Steptember is a walking challenge designed to get people up and moving more than they usually do for the month. We decided to run our own Steptember event with motivation and activities. But there are other companies and charities that you can sign up to for walking challenges and fundraising.

The general challenge for Steptember is to walk 10,000 steps a day. This is the most common number of steps recommended for adults every day. However, the average person usually only walks between 5000 and 7000.

Our challenge for the month was to motivate each member of the office to do more than they usually do. We allowed people to opt-in to participate and set a goal that they thought would be achievable for them.

What did we do during the challenge?

We had 32 members of our team involved in our Steptember challenge so divided the office up into four teams. But rather than setting each team up against one another, we set a company goal. That way smaller teams could work together to encourage one another without the competitive edge, while everyone worked towards a common goal.

Our initial step challenge was 3 million steps as an entire company. We were well on our way to achieving that in the first week so increased it to a more ambitious 8 million steps. In the end, we got to 6,774,808 million. That’s the equivalent of walking 5,162km from our office in Mulgrave around Australia to Sturt Plateau in the Northern Territory!

Throughout the challenge, we added new activities to make sure everyone could stay interested. It takes 21 days to build a habit and a month-long challenge is definitely that, a challenge. We sent an email out each week updating everyone on our Steptember progress as an office. This also included extra information such as a weekly challenge or recommended apps.

One Friday our team ran a health and fitness quiz to keep people’s interest. This was a good way for us to go through some of the health and wellness reasons behind us wanting to run the challenge. We encouraged our team to use the gym during their lunch break or join the Easy Weddings Running Club on a Friday during lunch. Two of our staff members even got into costume to run an exercise workshop on a Friday night after work! And we held a presentation for our highest achievers to congratulate them for all of their efforts.

Our workout activity included a warm-up to ‘Baby Shark’ and a workout to ‘Physical’ by our very own Olivia Newton-John

Why was it a good thing to do?

You may be asking why we’re talking about an activity that we’ve done internally, but it’s because we can see the benefits of how it has impacted our staff. Of course, there is always room for improvement for future challenges. But we’ve seen staff walking more during lunchtime and different team members interacting with people they don’t usually talk to as much for the challenge.

We’ve also had some great feedback from members of our team who are really enjoying having the challenge to keep them motivated. We even had 3 members of the team buy their own Fitbits during the challenge because they wanted to track their steps more accurately!

One of the reasons we wanted to run a fitness challenge was to help our staff work towards their personal goals, not just their career development. We spend so much of our lives at work and it’s so important to make sure that we are encouraging that personal development for everyone.

This is how far the Easy Weddings office would have walked if we’d done a relay of all of our steps!

How is this useful to you?

It might not be Steptember, but think about a way that you can encourage your staff, or even yourself, to do something during October. It doesn’t have to be a challenge for a month and it doesn’t have to be fitness-related.

We love team activities because they help people grow together. But we know so many business owners in the wedding industry are sole traders. See if you can find yourself a network or mentor with common goals and see whether you can challenge yourselves on a personal level this month. Having a buddy can really help hold you accountable to your goals. It can also make everything more fun!

We enjoyed running Steptember to see how our staff worked with one another as well as encourage them to make sure they’re working on themselves. There’s no reason that you can’t do the same.

The winning members of Steptember!

Network with other wedding industry professionals for your own personal or professional development on our Pro-EDU Facebook Group.