900 Miles In The Name Of Employee Engagement

CIPHR has always been a friendly place to work, I wouldn’t have been here for 10+ years if I didn’t like the people I worked with. A while back I started to think about a way to channel this neighbourly culture and create an activity that, as well as promoting engagement, also promoted wellbeing and health among CIPHR employees.

I spend a great deal of my working day on the internet. As the writer of our blog and curator of the several social networks which we actively contribute to, I am always reading content and opinions regarding the best HR, Recruitment, Payroll practices and how to stay happy and healthy at work. Everything from standing desks to the benefits of pure lemon juice have been discussed on a daily basis in my office.

One of the topics that is often referred to is staying active and fit, when you spend the majority of your working day sat at a desk. This was the primary reasoning behind the healthy side of the activity, couple this with the benefits of group activities inspiring engagement, and hey presto, we have the beginnings of the CIPHR eRace.


The CIPHR eRace is a virtual ‘walk’ from Lands End to John o’Groats. Each team within CIPHR has been given a pedometer and they register the number of steps that they’ve covered on a weekly basis. This is converted into miles (using an average step distance) and plotted on a route between the two landmarks. The pedometer can be passed between team members as they see fit.

So, we have everyone that partakes in our weekly football match wearing pedometers and racking up (in my case) 3 miles in one game. Other’s who play badminton each week notch up another few miles towards their weekly total. So far, our leading teams have covered over 550 miles in 10 weeks, not bad considering none of them are marathon runners!

As well as the actual walking, there are also random challenges which, if completed, award teams or individuals with a prize. These challenges have included the ‘random act of kindness award’ and the ‘best team selfie’.

Each week I publish an update regarding the progress of the teams, race news and imagery from Google street view to show what the teams would be seeing if they were doing the walk for real. These are included on a dedicated blog for the race, as well as on our company intranet.

So, what are the benefits of the above? Well, so far I have noticed the following:

  • Increased interaction on a social level between employees from different departments
  • An increase in physical activity across the board
  • A increased sense of wellbeing from those employees taking part as a result of the increased exercise
  • People are surprised at the distance that they can cover in one week, and keen to discuss with, and encourage others

Employee wellness should be high on any business’s priority list, thinking of original ways to make exercise and engagement fun is a very important element to a successful wellness program.

Has your business started an interesting wellness program? Let us know in the comments.