As part of living the mission of promoting the quality of life, Witt/Kieffer employees were recently challenged to support a more active lifestyle by participating in a “Walk to Rio” step challenge leading up to the 2016 Summer Olympics. The original challenge, for the entire firm to walk the equivalent distance from corporate headquarters in Oak Brook, IL to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (over 10 million steps!) in a span of one month, proved too easy. The firm accomplished the first goal with two weeks to spare. In the end, employees walked the distance to Rio and back in one month. The challenge kicked off an additional two week long “Witt/Kieffer Olympics” challenge, where teams from different offices competed for coveted Witt/Kieffer medals.
To kick off the Olympics, each office hosted a potluck lunch on the day of opening ceremonies. The following week employees started competing in office-themed Olympic events. The four events consisted of a planking contest, a timed basketball (paper ball) shooting contest, a wall sit competition, and a trivia test. The firm was divided into four teams, and each team was led by a captain who motivated teammates throughout the challenge with inspirational stories and messages to keep them going. According to one team captain, “it was great to see how many people participated.” In fact, 65 percent of employees participated in at least one activity during the month and a half of challenges.
The two-part challenge was part of a larger initiative, aiming to increase health and wellness across the firm, living our mission to improve quality of life. Witt/Kieffer is not alone in the push for healthier lifestyles. Corporate wellness is more than just a trend, as noted in a recent article in Forbes. From small changes, like improved morale, to larger benefits, like reduced insurance costs, wellness programs large and small have proven a positive ROI. These types of programs also have proven to be a big selling point to the generation who will soon be the most influential in the workplace – millennials. According to an article on the Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM) website, wellness programs are one of the most influential benefits a company can offer this newest generation of employees.
So what is next up in terms of wellness initiatives for Witt/Kieffer? “There has already been a big push for a new challenge,” says Lisa Ewert, Human Resources Generalist for Witt/Kieffer, and organizer of the Walk to Rio Challenge and Witt/Kieffer Olympics. “[Employees] enjoyed the competition and want to stay involved.” Employees have already offered several suggestions for new ways to keep the firm active, and plans for new initiatives are underway.
By Lauren Corso, Communications Assistant