Committed to provide objective and trustworthy information on all aspects of health and wellness, StepJockey was founded in 2013. The company is an evidence-based business and is firmly focused on a ‘small steps’ approach to improved health. The company was seed-funded by the UK Department of Health to help combat sedentary behavior, one of the biggest single health risks for office workers. It is now backed by private investors and has a fantastic portfolio of health-conscious blue-chip employer clients, ranging from international banks, government departments and institutions to prestige building owners and asset managers all around the world.
In an interview with Insights Success, CEO of StepJockey, Zarir (Zed) Vakil, has shed some of the interesting story related to the organization.
So, below are the highlights of the interview between Zed and Insights Success.
Give a brief overview of the company, its uniqueness and its vision.
StepJockey is a leading workplace health and wellness company that has been revolutionizing employee wellness through a range of powerful, engaging evidence-based programs. Our work inspires healthier futures in a climate where sedentary behavior is becoming an increasingly prominent health epidemic.
With the advances in technology over the last few decades, more jobs have become desk-based with limited amounts of physical activity expended throughout the working day. This leads to health problems such as cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, even when regular exercise takes place outside of work.
Our mission at StepJockey is to reduce the health implications of sedentary behavior in the workplace and beyond, through a blend of solutions including education, engagement and incentivisation. We intend to become globally admired across our industry for our innovative workplace health solutions.
What are the cutting-edge services/solutions offered by StepJockey?
We use innovative technology including fun, motivational apps and gamification to engage with employees on a level that other workplace health companies struggle to reach. Our technology works around the basis of the nudge theory, which has driven tangible success in increasing physical activity.
There is detailed medical research into the health consequences of sedentary lifestyles, inspiring us to develop workplace health solutions that get proven results. From our NFC-equipped Smart Signs to our exciting stair climbing challenges, we bring a new dimension to corporate wellness.
Our clients and their employees love our challenges like climbing Mount Everest or the Great Wall of China, which have been really successful in getting people to change their sedentary habits. Clients are often surprised when they see the multiple benefits of our programs that go even further than increasing physical activity. Our challenges and games also unearth the competitive nature of employees and can help to build cross-site, cross-border engagement through friendly rivalry including league tables.
Give a detailed description of the CEO’s influence over the company and the Corporate Wellness Services industry.
CEO Zarir Vakil brings a wealth of skills and experience to the company. With over ten years of delivering transformational change projects across a range of industries, running several businesses and advising many, he knows the challenges that businesses face in implementing new processes and developing cultures.
Zed is also a non-executive Director at a cutting-edge technology company. His knowledge and experience at the forefront of technological developments has been a key enabler in StepJockey’s emergence as an innovator in the corporate wellness services industry.
The industry has been slower than many other industries in utilizing the latest technology but with Zed’s experience he has helped to build a team that leads the way in workplace wellbeing. StepJockey has worked with clients from across the world to make a real difference in reducing sedentary behavior.
Describe the experiences, achievements or lessons learnt that have shaped the journey of the company.
In the five years since StepJockey was founded, we have learnt some very valuable lessons. Whilst society is generally becoming more aware of the severe health implications of sedentary lifestyles, there is still a very long way to go in changing people’s habits.
One of our key achievements has been increasing the awareness of the problems that derive from sedentary behavior but we have a lot more work to do to. We have delivered some huge results for our clients to transform their workplace and hit their wellbeing objectives.
What are the challenges faced while providing Corporate Wellness services and how is StepJockey serving to tackle them?
There are a number of big challenges with Corporate Wellness. Firstly, with some companies there is a lack of budget for this area. At StepJockey, we are able to demonstrate to our clients how the benefits of our programs justify any costs. For example, improving workplace health leads to reduced absences which can save the company a lot of money.
Another challenge we have come across is that people are very busy in work, trying to hit deadlines and rushing between meetings etc. So, employees can initially be sceptical about having enough time to build more physical activity into their working day. We fully understand that people are busy in work, so our programs are developed to make easy, incidental, non-disruptional behavioral changes that are not time consuming.
What according to you could be the potential future of Corporate Wellness services and how does StepJockey envision sustaining its competency?
With the added pressure on the NHS right now, in the future there is going to be a much bigger focus on Corporate Wellness services to reduce health epidemics like too much sitting. Having been seed funded by the UK Department of Health, we are working hard to set the foundations for improving Corporate Wellness and we will lead by example through wellness programs that harness innovative technology and our understanding of the challenges companies face.
Zed the CEO of StepJockey started his career with multinational organizations where he cut his teeth. After a decade with multinationals, Zed joined a private equity company, where he held an Investment Director portfolio, as well as a pivotal strategic Group HR Director role. After designing shared services functions for the Group, Zed acquired venture funding internally, setting up his own new company, Worksource, and providing companies affordable commoditized HR outsourcing solutions and business performance consultancy.