What’s All the Hubbub About?
Denise Wilson 05.11.2016
It seems there are more tools than ever designed to help people have a healthier, happier and more productive life. The use of Fitbits, Jawbones, fitness apps and even good old gym programs seem to be exploding. But just because there ARE tools doesn’t mean folks always use them. Here at Okuma America, we’ve decided there’s a key ingredient in “making healthy a habit”, and that’s teamwork! (Not surprising, right? That’s the key in our day-to-day work too.) So in the past year we’ve implemented an online interactive program called Hubbub, which provides healthy challenges people can participate in on a monthly basis. Participants track their results online in a shared environment, which creates great accountability and camaraderie. There’s a nice incentive offered with each challenge, usually a gift card they can spend like cash.
Always Something New
Now that we’ve been using this program, you’ll hear people joking, “what’s the hubbub all about?” Every month there’s a new challenge, something different just to keep it interesting. One month we had a water challenge, where each participant had to drink 160 ounces per week and log that into Hubbub. We just had a 5-mile per week challenge to get folks in the habit of intentionally moving. This month we have “May Unwind” which focuses on ways to reduce stress. Many things can be done to fulfill this challenge, including decluttering your desk, prioritizing tasks, taking a relaxing walk, or even getting a massage. When these tasks are complete they get entered into the Hubbub app and the points count toward the gift cards.
A New Forever Lifestyle
Our Hubbub program has gotten very competitive! It’s a friendly competition, but people check others’ results and make sure they’re legit. So now folks do things like posting pictures of the mileage on their treadmills, to prove themselves. Some are now riding their bikes to work so they can get their mileage in. We have people using the walking trail outside our building to run at lunchtime (see the photo above of two Okuma members having a run for lunch). The other day I heard that employees back in the warehouse were using their breaks for pushups and crunches during our fitness challenge. We see employees walking out the door at the end of their workday with gym bags over their shoulders. At first the competition might seem obsessive or even comical, but the good thing that’s happening is people are creating healthy habits for a forever lifestyle. Conventional wisdom states that it takes 21 days to create a habit, and because our challenges last 30 days, we’re entrenching these new behaviors.
Here at Okuma America we have 180 employees, and about 130 sign up each month for the Hubbub challenges. That’s a high level of participation. The success of this program wouldn’t be possible without champions to lead the way, and we have two Hubbub leaders right here in our Human Resources department. Bisceglia Thomas encourages so many other people to participate and she’s a big part of why our program is successful. Every day she’s working out and people look up to her because she’s such a great role model. She leads by example in the gym, and people get inspired and join her. We also have Shelby Moss. She’s administering the Hubbub programs, making sure the emails go out, and tracking everything. Shelby’s a great role model too because she’s currently training for a half marathon.
Of course all of this is great in theory, but is it working – are people getting healthier as a result of our Hubbub program? I can tell you there are so many people who are having tremendous success. One example is a guy who lost over 50 pounds. Now he’s feeling fabulous and wants to continue. Recently we ordered new uniforms for him and he requested two different sizes: one to wear now, and one a size smaller, for later. He said “I’m going to lose more weight. I’m committed.” We have inspiring stories of people all over the company who are working really hard like that. For any company looking to create a healthy, motivated, and productive workforce, I highly recommend taking a look at a program like Hubbub.
Denise Wilson is Human Resources Manager, Okuma America Corporation.
Do you know any Okuma folks who are participating in these challenges? Encourage them with a shout in the comments below!