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Informa staff globally leap at health challenge

A fitness challenge set by Informa PLC to its 8,000 staff, had teams swimming, cycling or walking/running to support their favourite charity. In all, £3,000 (c$4,500) was up for grabs for the winning three teams to each donate £1,000 to a charity of their choice. Just over 50,000 miles were covered by employees over the month.

Informa, a global events, publishing and performance improvement company, set up the challenge to encourage staff health and wellbeing.

The debut fitness challenge, “February Fitness”, saw 100 teams from countries as diverse as Australia, Switzerland, Singapore, USA and the UK.  Teams of up to 6 people chose between 3 sporting disciplines: running/walking, swimming or cycling. Scores were logged and displayed on a specially created league table available on Informa’s intranet site, Indigo. Such was the interaction, more staff than ever visited the intranet site. Momentum was boosted with a team photo gallery and the FebFit Fun Awards, with recognition for the best team name and best team photo.

“What started as an idea to increase fitness, turned out to be a hugely successful event,” said Emma Blaney, Group HRD of Informa PLC. “We were simply astonished by the number of teams taking part and we hear the charity element encouraged people enormously.  We’ve had employees asking for it to happen more than once a year, telling us that it’s changed their fitness habits for the better and that they hugely enjoyed the camaraderie and competitiveness that built up over the month.

“For a company like Informa, which is spread far and wide geographically, with some people working remotely, February Fitness gave people the opportunity to connect to current and new colleagues, create targets, plan and get motivated together. They had another reason to talk to each other, to get enthusiastic, to plot, plan, laugh - and keep fit. We know that our people are healthily competitive between divisions from previous Green Week events, and that same spirit happened on this too.  Many of our divisions are specialist brands in their own right – Citeline, ESI, Datamonitor, for example - so it helped them feel much more a part of Informa. People loved understanding how close they were to winning and how many extra miles they had to put in to win.”

The winning Informa teams are: Team Pie from Informa House in London for cycling, Dunkin Donut Fitness Freaks from ESI Intl in Chicago for running/walking and Polar Bears from Ovum/Taylor & Francis USA for swimming.  Local and international, small and large charities have been chosen by the teams, many because of personal connections.