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Medical Office Controller Department- May 2019 Wellness University Success Story

A walking challenge may be a great way to bring a department together. Not only does it promote team building, it also improves the staff’s overall wellness and productivity. Brent Soon and James Mains, Senior Financial Analysts with the Medical Office Controller, can testify to that. Earlier this year, they and other members of the department’s social committee agreed to make a walking challenge their next quarterly team building activity. They had implemented other activities before, like trivia competitions and get-to-togethers, but encouraging each other to add 15-minute walks per day proved to be a winner. The department’s 6-week walking challenge, called the MOC March Madness, ended earlier this month. Out of the 22 employees who work for the TPMG Controller’s Office, 19 participated and completed the challenge. The goal was for each person to walk at least 15 minutes per day, outside of walking to meetings, around the South Sacramento campus. At the beginning of each week, participants were asked to enter their minutes walked into a designed Microsoft Team page. Each time a person walked at least 15-minutes, they earned a raffle ticket and at the end of the challenge, they had chances to win prizes like a Wellness University sweatshirt, or bento lunch box. “Using Teams allowed everyone to keep track of the steps they walked, but also use the discussion board to encourage each other,” said James. He added that, regardless of being at an offsite training, the challenge encouraged him to add those steps in each day. “I would go to the hotel gym and or take walks at night, so I could get my steps in and stay on track,” he said. Brent also saw personal wellness improvements from incorporating daily walks. “I now make sure that I get a walk in after work and on vacations,” he said. Brent added that the challenge improved the department’s productivity and morale. “It gave us an opportunity to step away from the desk, be social and connect in a personal level. We don’t necessarily need to share personal stuff, but since we got to know each other better, we have become more productive and always brainstorming new ideas. Being in the open air also helps to increase conversations and creativity,” he said. Since the department is spread out at multiple locations, the challenge has become a way for people to walk with colleagues they don’t often work with, making the MOC March Madness walking challenge a successful team-building activity. The staff also report a number of health benefits from the challenge. Some experienced weight loss, a decrease in blood pressure and blood sugar levels, and an increase in energy levels. Many of the participants have also made daily walks a lifestyle habit and led them to work on other areas of wellness, like nutrition. “Although the challenge is over, we see co-workers scheduling time to meet up and go on walks,” said James. If your department is interested in setting up a walking challenge or other wellness activity, Wellness University can support you with implementation planning and providing incentives. Contact us to learn more.
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