Our team is using Microsoft 365 to get healthier in 2021

It’s the new year and, as always, that means it’s time for us to make – and then usually fail to achieve – goals for 2021. For many, it’s an annual tradition in which we promise ourselves we’ll quit something bad and/or start something good. As with any goal, however, it’s difficult to be successful without a plan and without support from others.

Here at Kiefer, we’re serious about our employees’ wellbeing, Career growth, continuing education, training – we’ve always believed in investing in our employees’ success. But there’s more to success than the workplace. Work-life balance is also a key factor. Employees who are happy and healthy in life outside the workplace tend to bring happiness and healthiness to the workplace.

Banner for a free Kiefer eBook called the Indispensable Tools of the Modern Workplace

So this year Kiefer decided to leverage some of the awesome tools available in Microsoft 365 – PowerApps, Power BI, Power Automate and Microsoft Teams – to create Kiefer Fit.

 Kiefer Fit Logo for Kiefer Employee Wellness Program

Kiefer Fit is a custom-developed app built for all Kiefer employees and their significant others. The app allows users to input their daily fitness activities – from walking to biking to yoga to strength training – to participate in a friendly, organization-wide competition intended to motivate each other to develop healthier (or just plain healthy) exercise habits in 2021.

Image of Kiefer Fit interface on a mobile device

Our team used PowerApps to develop the Kiefer Fit app. The app is accessible in Microsoft Teams, meaning users can input workouts no matter where they are. The way it works is super simple – which is great for encouraging usage. Users click Add Participant to add themselves as well as their significant others who want to participate. After that it’s as simple as clicking Add Workout to choose from a pre-generated list of activities. After the first few days our team found a lot of people were engaging in fitness activities beyond the scope of the preset list, things like boxing, rowing and HIIT (high intensity interval training). So our developers rolled out an update allowing us to enter such activities.

Whenever an exercise is recorded, the data (type of exercise, duration, etc.) is made available to the user as well as the Kiefer Fit Leaderboard. Using Microsoft Power Automate and Power BI, all of us can access the leaderboard to see how well participants are doing. Our goal as a company is for participants to average thirty 45-minute exercise sessions over the course of sixty days. In addition to the leaderboard, the Kiefer Fit app generates a weekly participation report for each participant which we hope will help maintain motivation. At the end of two months, every participant who achieves the goal will be reward with a nice little gift. The top 5 on the leaderboard will also receive an extra bonus.

So far we’ve found engagement with the app, relative to the size of our company, to be very high. Walking and strength training are so far the two most popular activities. But the most fun is working toward a healthier lifestyle together with each other even though we still can’t be together in person.

If your organization is looking for a partner who can help you leverage Microsoft 365 tools to improve the health of your team, let us know.


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