Wellness Challenges

Stepping Up Financial Wellness: How Brokers Can Empower Clients Through Steps Challenges

Written by Nikki

Beyond offering investment advice or facilitating transactions, brokers are becoming integral partners in their clients’ journeys toward financial wellness. An innovative avenue through which brokers can contribute to their clients’ overall well-being is by assisting them in setting up step challenges. They hold profound potential to positively impact clients’ physical health, mental well-being, and ultimately, their financial success. 

Step challenges typically garner significant engagement and they are a great way to encourage physical activity in and outside of the workplace, create healthy competition that helps to boost team morale and camaraderie, and are highly accessible. Moreover, many modern fitness trackers have the capability to convert wheelchair movement into step counts. 

As a company that has provided challenges as a service for over 10 years, we’re thrilled to share this guide on the benefits of step challenges, why you should actively advocate for and facilitate such initiatives for your clients, and how to weave them into your clients’ wellness benefits offerings.

What is a Workplace Step Challenge?

Simply put, it is a competition that tracks and ranks the number of steps employees take when walking or running. They’re easy to manage and can be set up in three different ways: 

  • An individual contest where each participant is competing against one another
  • A head-to-head team challenge
  • A challenge that combines all participants’ steps to reach one goal

Using team-based challenges allows employers to foster healthier habits and strengthen overall team camaraderie simultaneously, particularly with remote workers. For example, if you are working with a company that has offices located in different states, different locations can compete against one another as teams.

Why Run a Step Challenge?

There are four key benefits to running a workplace step challenge:

  • Promoting a culture of Goal-setting and Achievement: Competing against peers to complete a health challenge is a great way to encourage employees to foster a goal-oriented mindset.
  • Team-building: A step challenge can improve communication and team bonding for an organization. Employers will notice a stronger team camaraderie as a result!
  • Encouraging Healthy Habits among Employees: Once employees get used to achieving fitness goals, they are more likely to be self-motivated to continue improving their health and wellness.
  • Increased Productivity and Reduced Labor Costs: Healthier employees are happier and more productive, which will drive increased output for their teams and reduce overall labor costs (compared to their output).

Setting Up the Challenge: Key Points to Identify

In order to make the most of step challenges, some important topics to discuss with clients are:

  • Challenge start/end dates
  • Challenge tracking
  • Whether the challenge will be team-based or individual
  • Prize options

Engagement will be impacted by factors such as the duration of the challenges and the time of year it is run. Monthly challenges typically prove to be the most effective, offering an ideal timeframe to inspire healthy habits and keep employees interested. You’ll want to strategize with your clients in order to determine the best time of year to launch a challenge for their particular employee base.

In addition, you’ll also want to determine how your client wishes to track the challenge. Do they wish to do so manually or through a wellness vendor? Do their employees use fitness trackers? These sorts of questions will help you to narrow down the best way for their challenges to be facilitated.

Luckily, with the technology we have today, tracking steps is automated. If an employee has a smartphone and/or a wearable device, it’s likely their steps are being tracked. Our mobile culture increases employee participation and makes the challenge accessible for employees, regardless of their location. Moreover, many modern fitness trackers have the capability to convert wheelchair movement into step counts. 

Rules for Step Challenges

Another fantastic aspect of step challenges is their simplicity. They usually lack extensive rules, yet they remain adaptable to customize to your clients’ objectives.

For example, perhaps a client wants to focus on improvement over time. You can help them to configure a challenge with a step goal that increases each week. You may set the step goal to be 8,000 steps/day for week one and increase that by 2,000 steps/day each week during the course of the challenge. The employees would receive rewards for increasing their step count over time, encouraging them to embrace an active lifestyle in a feasible manner.

On the other hand, perhaps your client would benefit most from a step challenge that simply rewarded for the highest overall steps. You can help them to determine the type of step challenge that would spark the highest engagement for their employees.

Wellness Challenge Prizes

The employees of your clients lead busy lives and may not readily engage in company activities. Luckily, prizes are a great way to catch their eye and get them excited about an upcoming challenge. Even if your client has a small budget to work with, there are plenty of options to offer such as: 

  • Gift cards
  • PTO 
  • Tablets
  • Workout Equipment
  • Company Swag
  • Allowing employees to decide where to have company lunch

Encourage your clients to get creative with their rewards. Tying any incentive, monetary or not, to the challenge will increase participation.

Tips for Starting a Step Challenge 

To run a successful challenge with a high participation rate, it’s important to provide the right information to encourage engagement. Here are some tips for employers to keep in mind when running challenges:


As evident, there are various methods you can use to run a basic steps challenge. If you find it challenging to generate ideas that resonate with your clients’ employees, consider conducting an employee survey. Check out IncentFit’s Pulse Surveys for examples. The best way to ensure engagement and success is by asking the employees themselves what type of challenge interests them, if they have any ideas of their own, what their fitness goals are, if they use fitness trackers, etc.

By embracing step challenges as a means to promote both physical and financial wellness, brokers can differentiate themselves in a competitive market and solidify their position as trusted partners in their clients’ journeys toward holistic well-being.

Free 30 Day Step Challenge Google Sheets Tracker

If you wish to run through the basics with your clients before launching a step challenge, IncentFit has a free 30 day step challenge google sheets tracker that you can access. All you need to do is fill out the form and receive access to the challenge tracker!Alternatively, you can also set up a walking challenge using IncentFit’s tried and tested wellness challenges product!

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