Taking the first step into employee wellness with Vinnies Victoria

It’s been widely touted that for every dollar a company invests in employee wellness, they can expect an ROI of $6, in terms of increased productivity, reduced absenteeism and a plethora of positive profits.

But how long do people actually stick to employee wellness programs? And do they actually work?

We recently took our first step (pun intended 😆) to answering these questions, by partnering with Vinnies Victoria to trial our very own workplace health and fitness platform, Run & Rule {your company}.

Given the innate competitive nature of our app and the studies showing that competitiveness is a key ingredient to successful workplace health programs, we thought it’d be a walk in the park, so to speak.

We also thought we were a step ahead, having not only harnessed, but also gamified this competitive edge, which experts say leads to greater employee engagement and productivity.

Taking the first step into employee wellness with Vinnies Victoria - Sharon-the-RulerSo, with Vinnies Victoria’s help, we embarked on a corporate wellness mission. Teams were chosen and shoes were laced. And for four weeks, 10 employees at Vinnies Victoria pounded the pavement during their lunch breaks, or in a walking meeting, racking up Rules and stealing land off their rivals.

“I didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as I did!”
Sharon Wangman, Bequest Manager, Vinnies Victoria.

WHS Manager at Vinnies Victoria, Phillip Mellas, said it was the competitive element of the platform that appealed to his team, and his willingness to be a part of the trial.

“I’m not much of a walker. But the healthy competition around the room helped motivate me to go for a walk,” he said.

He also said one of the biggest advantages for Vinnies Victoria was that the platform didn’t focus on going fast or far. Rather the emphasis was on regular, moderate activity, meaning it was more inclusive to all of their employees, not just those already active.

“Many corporate wellness programs can be too long and people get fatigued, both mentally and physically. What I liked about this program is that it can be tailored to be short, sharp bursts of healthy competition, that can fit in with our overall wellbeing plan,” Phillip said.

With the focus on doing regular activity, rather than counting steps or calories, teams were on a more level playing field. Everyone could manage a stroll around the block and anyone could claim bragging rights and be the king/queen of the leaderboard.

Taking the first step into employee wellness with Vinnies Victoria - Vinnies Victoria TeamKFC

Going out for a walk to get lunch meant that these guys not only burnt off what they ate, but they were Rulers too!

Most of the activities Vinnies Victoria did during the trial were about 10 minutes of walking. But when added up, equated to over 17km, or in more relevant terms to them, 18 original chicken pieces from KFC.

Taking the first step into employee wellness with Vinnies Victoria - Vinnies Victoria final stats

“It got me up from my desk more, cleared my head, and made me more productive.”
Haley Price, Marketing & Communications Manager, Vinnies Victoria.

While the trial was successful in terms of keeping people motivated to exercise, we also walked away with invaluable learnings, such as getting the communications balance right between bombarding people when they are busy concentrating on their job, to gently reminding them that it’s ok to step away from their screens for a bit.

“When we had such beautiful weather outside, walking meetings became very popular,” Phillip said.

When something that’s usually considered a chore becomes a fun game, it’s much easier to stick with it. We’re all wired to enjoy. And game play is the perfect mechanism to trigger long-term, healthy behaviour change.

Our prediction is that we’re going to see a lot more gamified options in employee health and wellness space in the next few years. If you want to be one of the first players, let us know here. We’d love to shout you a coffee and have a chat about getting your colleagues Running & Ruling the office.