Fitbit Test Produces Amazing Results

September 11, 2014 | 1863 Views

Fitbit Test Produces Amazing Results

Mark Boccia

Vice President of Learning and Development | Marriott International

Training and development goes beyond just focusing on core job skills or teaching everyone how to implement the latest promotion. It is also about focusing on personal development - more specifically, a focus on health and wellness.  At Marriott, we consider ways our training programs can make a personal impact! Here is a recent example from one of our senior leadership courses.

In June 2014, we provided each participant with a Fitbit wristband to conduct a two-month test to evaluate how active each participant was. The Fitbit wristband retails for $100 and we purchased 30 of them for students and course instructors. This was in lieu of contracting an external speaker to deliver a half-day session on "health and wellness" that historically costs in excess of $10,000.  Additionally, the class traditionally receives a personal gift (e.g., shirt, jacket, bag) for being part of the program. We felt the Fitbit was more meaningful than another golf shirt.

A Fitbit webpage was created so participants could view the class leaderboard to track how they rank against their peers. Tracking included the number of steps, minutes active, and distance traveled.  Each week a synopsis report was sent out to congratulate top scoring individuals and to encourage ongoing participation.  For added competition, the project teams were pitted against each other and the top performing team all received awards during graduation, which was held in late August.

Look at the results and the personal success stories realized in just two months:

Several people noted that they bought wristbands for their family members and now make exercise an entire family affair.

During our class debrief, participants noted the following:

All we did was simply distribute the Fitbits, and asked for their participation. After a week....the program was off and running (really running...). 

Consider this approach for any program where you can track participation and generate some healthy competition.  Have fun mixing up the recognition... Most number of steps, longest distance traveled in a day, least amount of steps in a "recovery week" (a.k.a. have a lazy week which is okay too!).  Facilitators need to be involved and step it up too!

Be a good example and watch how many people follow your lead (or blow past you!) It's very motivating. Try it!

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