Like a lot of organisations, Aldermore operate over a large distributed network (at the time Aldermore had around 800 staff operating over seven locations), and their offices, as well as departments (within the same location) were, in places, siloed, due to a lack of awareness and visibility across the wider business.
Aldermore presented us with a brief to help them achieve two key objectives – to get individuals, working across different departments and locations, to get to know each other and work together, whilst encouraging them to move more, as part of their wider Mind, Body and Soul programme.
After exploring a number of initiatives, we developed the ‘Road to Rio’ Challenge to tie into that year’s Olympic Games.
The challenge, over a four-week period was to travel (collectively) the 36,000 miles from London to Rio, taking in previous host cities of the summer Olympics along the way.
We developed an awareness raising campaign that was pushed out through offices, the intranet and through office ambassadors. To encourage participation, we included a charitable element to the challenge, so for every six miles travelled, Aldermore would donate £1 to their chosen charity of the year.
Although there were prizes for both the team and individual that tracked the most miles, it was important that the challenge was inclusive, so almost all activities could be converted into miles – so a simple stroll, gardening, even housework!
Every individual was invited to participate, those that did were divided into mixed ability teams (as there were quite a few sporty sorts in the mix) and everyone received an inexpensive pedometer to help them track their activity.
We developed a ‘Road to Rio’ themed challenge portal, where individuals could submit their activity (or sync it straight from their pedometers). The portal also tracked individual and team activity levels on leader boards and the collective activity was tracked on an interactive map showing progress. Importantly the portal also allowed challenge wide and team chat functionality – both of which were embraced widely.
The Road to Rio challenge was a standout success, with over 70% of the workforce taking part, creating a huge amount of excitement and energy across the organisation.
Individuals embraced their teams and used the portal to communicate with, support and encourage the new contacts they had forged. Most ran, rode or rowed to Rio. Others climbed mountains, took up ballroom dancing or simply hopped off the bus a stop or two early – everybody and every mile mattered.
Not only did the team reach Rio, they did so early so we could extend the challenge and made it all the way back to London within the four-week period. The challenge created a sense of belonging and cross location/team working, and in addition it got people exercising and helped generate a £6,000 charitable donation – something that every participant can feel hugely proud of.