Step because it matters
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Wellness 101

Step because it matters

Anthony Knierim
Sep 16, 2019

We set out to build a wellness product that buyers and end users would love. We didn’t anticipate what would come next.

Before co-founding MoveSpring, I worked for years consulting at Accenture and Aon. During my time there, I saw a pretty clear trend: companies increasingly becoming concerned about the rising cost of healthcare and a growing desire to engage employees to improve company performance, retention and recruitment. However, many of their solutions involved bloated, difficult-to-use portals and legacy healthcare services. Companies were looking for something innovative to engage employees and improve the health of their workforce. They started tapping into the growing wearable device trend and set up company-wide step challenges manually, using hundreds of spreadsheets and countless hours of resources to manage the challenge.

My co-founder and I decided to make something that was sorely missing in the employee engagement and corporate wellness market: a fun, easy-to-use step challenge product. 

From day one at MoveSpring, we have been obsessed with the idea that health can be accessible to anyone. That’s why we designed our entire system with real users in mind. We know no one is going to watch a five hour video on how to get better sleep or manually log their steps every day for years on end. The same people who use our product are also using innovative consumer technology, whether it be social media, ride sharing, or even their banking app. People don’t have the patience for bad technology or a poor user experience—they know the difference. 

So, we built MoveSpring with the user experience in mind. Central to this experience was a feeling of fun, an uncommon or nonexistent approach in the healthcare world. This strategy really paid off. We heard resounding feedback from our clients that our product was driving some of the highest employee engagement they had seen to date. Participation was double or triple what was expected and it was having a real impact on increasing the activity of their workforce.

Moving for a greater meaning and uncovering the appetite for charitable giving.

About two years ago, we began hearing from clients that their favorite challenge modes were the ones that allowed the entire company to work together towards a common goal, such as collectively achieving one million steps across the organization. The key was that they could do it together

Our clients asked us, "Why not reward our people for working together with a bigger, more meaningful prize, like a charitable cause? That way they can feel like they did something great for themselves, and others.” 

We take our client feedback seriously, and that customer insight led to one of our top challenge modes, the Group Target Fundraiser challenge. In this mode, employees work together to achieve an ambitious step or active minutes goal which, if met, unlocks a company donation to a charitable cause of their choice. 

The wellness and charitable giving connection made sense. They were both wildly popular employee engagement initiatives. However, they were always approached separately, unless executed as a one-day charity walk event. 

Combining charitable giving and wellness initiatives enhances employee engagement across the board, which can have a direct impact on a company’s performance.

In our initial programs with employers, we found that when companies were running challenges with a charitable gift component, there were three primary trends:

  1. Higher participation rates in the challenge program 
  2. Higher sustained engagement—we saw between 1.6–2.2 app engagements per day
  3. Higher activity output—people did more activity on average to contribute to a collective goal that led to charitable outcomes

This was in line with a lot of psychological research that we found on the connection between fitness and charitable giving. Using physical activity as the focus of a fundraising event creates solidarity amongst participants and activates what is called the "martyrdom effect.” This phenomenon finds that people are drawn to the challenge of working hard and undergoing pain on behalf of a cause. The idea of suffering for a cause they care about can help make their support feel more meaningful and leads to higher donations amongst participants and their peers. 

It was clear this combination of fitness and fundraising was working together to drive higher employee engagement. So what does that ultimately mean for our clients?

Companies with engaged employees outperform those with lower engagement levels by up to 202 percent, according to a Dale Carnegie study. In fact, Research done by Gallup shows that companies with engaged workforces have higher earnings per share (EPS), and they seem to have recovered from the recession at a faster rate. 

In addition to clear performance outcomes, an engaged workforce translates to higher retention and recruitment rates, increased workplace happiness, more innovation, better communication, and enhanced collaboration.

We were missing one critical piece: more dynamic charitable giving opportunities in the app. Enter our new partner, FrontStream.

Our users wanted more! End users began asking their challenge admins and our support team how they could individually contribute to the cause and donate inside of the MoveSpring app.  

Enter our partnership with FrontStream, a leader in providing corporate social responsibility and employee giving solutions. Their cutting-edge technology allows us to take charitable giving to another level by not only bringing native donations within our app, but also allowing us to do what we do best: making the experience fun, highly engaging and accessible to everyone. 

This has been one of our favorite partnerships to announce, as it helps deliver on our long-standing company philosophy: hit the triple bottom line to provide a highly valuable service that is loved by our customers, with a sustainable business model, all while bettering the community we live and work in every day. With our latest FrontStream partnership, it’s never been easier to get that win-win-win.

Next time you think about putting on a company-wide step challenge, step it up by pairing it with our new, charitable giving opportunities.

Why? Because this time, it really matters! 

Click here to sign up for our new charitable giving beta.