Pokémon Go Is Good For Employee Well-Being
When airlines started frequent flyer programs in the 80s, conflict arose over who owned the “points.” Sooner or later, most employers gave the points to the employees. They chose to build employee morale rather than enforce penny-pinching policies. They saw the long-term value of being aligned rather than at odds with their most valuable asset. So frequent business travelers kept their frequent flyer miles and used them to take better vacations. It was a win-win. Today, we call that a choice to promote well-being.
Improved well-being redefines the popular “wellness” movement for forward thinking companies serious about boosting employee productivity. Most employers today have learned that healthier employees are happier, more productive partners with management. Updating health and wellness to well-being takes concerns for our physical health and goes further. We recognize that social, community, financial and career aspects of the lives we lead are all crucial to our well-being.
That’s where Pokémon comes in.
How the Hidden Pokémon Lead the Way
Can you see employees scooting around a couple of times a day looking for the elusive characters? Better than sitting and playing video games on their computers, right? The new Pokémon Go craze proves the right stimuli will get people moving up out of their comfy chairs. And they’ll return to work in a better, more productive mood.
“Exercising outdoors can improve your mood. It can also burn more calories than if you were working inside,” says QC Sports Performance trainer Cody Lichthardt. Catching Pokémon characters could add up to catching good well-being habits at the workplace.
But can’t you just see cranky bean counters nixing the idea that fun at work feeds the bottom line? Déjà vu the conflict over frequent flyer miles in the 80s. This time, will we debate the idea until Pokémon Go goes away? Or will we use the game – and hand-held technology – to help solve the problem of how to get people moving?
Let’s start telling our workers it’s OK to play a little Pokémon Go or other augmented reality games at work. Let employees form teams to capture and battle the virtual creatures. Use your Healthstat onsite clinic as a base of operations for mobile gaming.
Here are a few ideas that encourage workers to take a refresh, get out, and play:
- Form workplace “teams.” Offer prizes from discounted healthy cafeteria fare to a day off after a gaming “season.”
- Map out nearby Pokémon gyms and Pokestops. Teams can go on foot to capture and defend them from other teams.
- Reward players for posting the best or most creative pictures they take of Pokémon characters. Display them in your Healthstat clinic lobby.
- Align Poke’ Balls with the tactics you set to achieve the company’s strategic plan.
The ideas to leverage Pokémon Go to improve physical and emotional well-being seem endless. Make it fun and they will play.
Your business reward? Psychological engagement, beyond simple monetary rewards, bonds employees to your business. Employees that have friends at work feel better about their jobs. The Pokémon Go craze does double duty building employee well-being, making participants more active and fostering friendships at work. Go Pokémon Go. Making movement fun again!