For many of us, the Christmas and New Year period is a time of fun and festivities and for Chess people its also a time for a well-earned recharge. I think most of us will admit that it’s also a time for relaxation and the enjoyment of overindulgence.

So what better way to start the new year than with a focus on our health and wellbeing by stepping into January with the Chess Future Fit Step Challenge 2023.

The Aim of the Future Fit Step Challenge

The aim is to give our people the opportunity to get together, put our trainers and walking boots on and get outside in the fresh January air whilst raising money for a fantastic charity. Sometimes overlooked as a form of exercise, walking can help build stamina, burn excess calories, make your heart healthier, improve mental health and as we like to call it at Chess… become #FutureFit.

The challenge allows our people to meet others from across the business as we join teams captained by our Cultural Ambassadors and future leaders. At Chess we are passionate about team spirit and in late December, the teams get together to plan how they will inspire and motivate each other to win the ultimate prize of being a Future Fit Champion!

How it worked

The rules are simple, everyone must aim to walk or run a minimum of 5000 steps per day during the month, log their progress on our specially designed app and see how others are doing on the leader boards. For every 5000 steps logged, Chess will donate £1 to MIND. At the end of the month, the team with the highest overall steps is declared the winner and the team is treated to a Future Fit prize.

At Chess, we are of course, extremely passionate about Technology, but we are also committed to playing our part in the wider community by supporting charities and the Step Challenge helped to combine these two things.

How we used Microsoft Teams and PowerBI

Our excellent Developers were given the opportunity to show their skills by creating our very own step challenge app, which found a home in our Microsoft Teams Company Collaboration Channel. Everyday those taking part received a notification to upload their steps, and in turn, this updated the live leader board.

As the month went on, the Teams chats turned to strategy meetings as everyone tried to work out how they could catch the top team.

The app was built using Microsoft Power App and Power Automate. Over the last few years we have utilised these applications to help support our Culture; during the pandemic we measured the morale of our people using this software, and later in the spring we will be launching a new and improved voting system for Employee of the Month using the Microsoft applications.

The Results

During the challenge this year our people managed to take almost 17 million steps, roughly 7500 miles in just 31 days raising over £3500 for Mind.

Even though 1 in 4 people have mental health problems, most don’t get the help they need. Mind offer help whenever someone might need it through information, advice and local services across England and Wales. Chess is proud to work with Mind, and a big thank you to all our Chess people, who once again played their part and came together as one team to support this fantastic charity.


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