Target challenges associates to shape up with Fitbit
Target plans to give each of its 335,000 U.S. employees a free or discounted Fitbit activity and sleep tracking device (depending on the chosen model) as part of its Fall Fitbit Challenge.
The discount giant will also be hosting group Activity Challenges using a corporate wellness platform from Fitbit to support wellness and community, according to a statement on its Bullseye blog.
Employees who opt-in are placed on a team for a month-long competition. Teams that log the highest average number of daily steps from Oct. 15 to Nov. 15 will share $1 million, to be distributed to local wellness non-profits of their choice. To support the program, Target noted that it made one of the largest corporate wellness group purchases of Fitbit devices to date.
Target is also offering a new wellness discount that gives all U.S. employees an additional 20 percent off fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables, Simply Balanced items and C9 activewear, on top of their existing employee discount. Additionally, career growth and career planning support are being enhanced to help focus on "longevity and personal fulfillment" at Target.
Source: Target Bullseye View video
The employee wellness initiatives are part of Target’s new focus on wellness across its business, including the promotion of healthy eating, active living and clean label solutions at the store level.
"We believe Target is uniquely positioned to help improve the health of our team and the nation by making wellness the way of life where people live, learn, work, play and shop," the company said.
Bloomberg noted that Adobe, BP and Redbox have also used the Fitbit Wellness program. Google, Microsoft and others are opening gyms at their headquarters to get their employees active.
Creating a health-focused company can be positive for employee retention in addition to possibly improving health care costs. Amy McDonough, director of Fitbit Wellness, told Bloomberg that Appirio, a Fitbit customer, reduced its health costs by six percent during the first year of using the company’s wearables.
Some articles questioned how effective Target’s programs will be given that Fitbits generally appeal to those who are already active. Writing for Christian Science Monitor, Angela Colle also noted that Target’s management will be able to see who opts in or not and have "the ability to monitor any employee’s progress — or lack of progress — at any time."
- Target Kicks off New Team Member Wellness Initiatives – Target
- Target’s Fitbit offer to workers may miss its mark – CNBC
- Target to Offer Fitbits to 335,000 Employees – Bloomberg
- Writing for Christian Science Monitor, Target wants its employees to get in shape – The Christian Science Monitor
What do you see as the pros and cons of corporate wellness programs for employees? Will they and should they become a bigger part of retailer initiatives in the years ahead?