The Next Jump blog is a look into the culture of a company that believes corporations can change the world.
The Fitness Challenge
14 Jan

Would a company lose money by paying its employees to work out? Next Jump strongly invests in its employees to provide the energy to drive performance and therefore business. You will be surprised to see how effective we are at increasing productivity and therefore results by “paying” employees to work out.

Next Jump built free on-site gyms to encourage exercise and healthy well-being in order to enhance productivity, but only 5-10% of the company used the gym regularly. This might sound normal in any typical company, but at Next Jump, we strive to push to the next level.

In order to motivate employees to work out, we created the Fitness Challenge. The company is divided into five teams, led by peer-nominated captains, and each week, the team competes to get the most members to workout. Employees use our online Fitness Portal to check-in for their workout, which shows a live leaderboard of the Fitness Challenge and tracks your progress both individually and as a team. The winning team is rewarded with WOWPoints, virtual currency that can be redeemed online through our shopping platform on thousands of retailers and brands or even transferred to our Health Savings Accounts (HSA). WOWPoints are as valuable as cash, so it’s as if we are getting paid to work out! It’s so simple, how can you not work out?

The Fitness Portal

We have so many fitness opportunities - a 24/7 on-site well-equipped gym with rock-climbing wall and batting cage, fitness trainers, Ping Pong tables, Wii and Xbox, and fitness classes including Pilates, Yoga, Zumba, conditioning, and more. At first glance, you might believe this would be LESS productive because employees would only be playing ping pong or games all day, but in practice, it is quite the opposite. You can feel higher energy levels throughout the office after people workout. Working out helps to release the negative stress and harness the positive energy to get back on your “work” feet – which really means back to sitting in front of a computer, which is more reason to get up activate your muscles! After I workout, I feel refreshed to start my work again and feel more productive.

Last year, I was chosen and given the privilege to lead and become one of the Fitness Team Captains. As an athlete my entire life, being healthy and engaged in sports activities definitely helped me be more productive in school. Not only do I have the honor of working at a company that shares the same beliefs, but this environment encourages me to continue that lifestyle in my professional career. When asked to lead a team, I jumped at the chance to motivate others more than ever because of my competitive nature, but more importantly, I hoped to create a positive impact on everyone across all offices, even those not necessarily on my team, to help improve themselves, both personally and professionally, through fitness.

Next Jump has made everything accessible with added incentives, that it is almost impossible to not take advantage of it all. However, some colleagues are hesitant to work out and take fitness classes, especially if they are new. I always make an effort to invite new employees to classes and remind them that Next Jump encourages them to do so. It is healthy to take break from work to rejuvenate, especially when trying new activities. We even receive healthy lunches for attending class! Some people just need a little push to get out of their chairs and try something new. Multiple people have been grateful that they were introduced to these opportunities and even come back to a point where it becomes a ritual. It feels awesome to make that difference in a colleagues’ lifestyle. 

Other coworkers have even introduced me to new forms of fitness and I am always open to participate and help them so they don’t have any excuses to not work out. For example, one of my coworkers, Eric, loves playing DDR, which is apparently a common hobby of many other NxJumpers. After much discussion, Eric brought his games, another coworker brought mats, and I brought my PS2 into the office. We all collaborated and each brought our own resources so we could all play and workout in a fun way. I’d never seen Eric workout so much, and it was the happiest and most energized I’d seen him at his time at Next Jump and I was even happier to help make that happen.

After a successful year of leading my team to multiple victories, my proudest moments were inspiring and witnessing the strong camaraderie that pushes each other toward increased energy and engagement both inside the gym and more importantly, back at the desk, which is especially important in those stressful work weeks. Team members were consistently offering to workout with teammates who were behind on getting their workouts for the week so we could reach 100% participation almost every week!

We have come a long way since the first days of workouts of running around conference room tables. The Fitness Challenge has increased the overall gym attendance to 80%. Next Jump’s investment with the Fitness Challenge is one of the top initiatives for everyone’s best interests because it changes our behavior to not only better ourselves physically, but to increase our energy so we can perform at our highest levels to ultimately drive the business.

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