RSK employees use technology to track steps in pedometer challenge

Engineering and environmental consultancy RSK encourages employees to track their fitness activity through wearable technology and its self-service HR system.

Each year since 2015, the organisation has run a four-week pedometer challenge, inviting employees from all global offices to take part. This year, the challenge launched at the beginning of May, with around 138 teams of five people each taking part.

Many employees have their own pedometer or fitness tracker, which they use to record their steps, which are then input into RSK’s HR system. Each year, groups are awarded different prizes, such as ‘top-stepping team’ and ‘most-improved team’.

Zoe Brunswick, HR director, says: “We encourage people to get involved across the whole globe. People can wear a pedometer anywhere and then record their steps through our self-service system, or log it via their team captains.”

As well as encouraging physical activity among employees, the challenge also serves to engage them with the employer’s benefits platform. “We thought this was an ideal opportunity to get [employees] to actually use the system, because if they have to go on and log their steps, they might have a little look. By doing that it encourages use of the actual system that people need to engage with,” Brunswick explains.

The challenge was first launched after an RSK employee was diagnosed with an undetected heart condition, and in recognition that inactivity at work can have serious effects on employees’ health.

“It gave us an opportunity to think about how we could encourage [activity],” says Brunswick. “We started off by getting people to think about how many steps they might take over a month period, and we combined it with the Healthy Heart campaign run by the British Heart Foundation. We started it then, not knowing how well it would take off; as the challenges have gone on, more and more people have got involved, its quite competitive.”