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Two Steps Forward

On the Cushing shop floor, there is a close-knit group of professionals working each day to fulfill client projects. It’s a creative bunch, and production is the place where big ideas are born. Earlier in the year, customer service hero John Nelson was thinking about a step in the right direction.

On his mind?

A combination of teambuilding and staying healthy. He invited his Cushing colleagues to participate in the Step Challenge, a great way to be mindful of body & spirit.

We had a chance to catch up with John to find out more about the inspiration behind this healthy competition.

Two Steps Forward 2 Sox Photo

The Cushing team poses with Ron Kittle and his latest project (see John in the middle?)


Where did you learn about the Step Challenge?

I was basing this off of YouTube videos of other companies doing the Step challenge – I liked the idea of how they were getting the mindset right, and starting the year off with teambuilding. A lot of people and companies were participating.

Our Cushing team did it for 30 days. Everyone put in $5 for this one. (and if someone didn’t want to put in money that would have been fine!)

We had 1st 2nd and third prizes. We had about 90% participation.

Two Steps Forward 3 Step Challenge Winners 2

Step Challenge Winners!

Tell me more about what the Step Challenge is: is this just in Chicago or beyond?

No it was not just Chicago – it was international and there are many businesses in the UK that do it. Simply google step challenge and you’ll see all sorts of companies doing it. For instance, the University of Buffalo.

Is it in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle website or news source?

Yes, but it also encourages people to walk more. Spring was coming up and – the idea was we should all get up and move around! We’re at the desk, looking at screens all day – it would force us to get exercise, in a good way! I liked it because I got to know the place (Cushing’s old location at 420 West Huron) a bit more.

Two Steps Forward 4 John With Students Entering Orders

John Talks With Students During an April Field Trip

I walked around to almost every department and it helped me get a bit more comfortable. And now we are thinking we want to do a workout challenge! This was the first run (no pun intended).

What are some of the goals for a company participating in a Step Challenge?

First Goal: Let’s do something together.
Second: Let’s not be lazy doing something together!

How long did it last?
30 days

Was it something you had tried at other jobs or in different positions?

I did something similar when I was at Massage Envy: the squat challenge. We all had bad knees, saw the Kardashian doing it, so we figured we would do it!

And that’s the best way to strengthen your knees. It was a therapeutic center and we always preached stretching, but were not doing it.  This encouraged it!

Two Steps Forward 5 Step Challenge

John (Coordinator of the Step Challenge) poses with our winners.

What’s next on the list?

We want to do a month-long health challenge. We’ll bring in a blender – I want to figure out the details with input from the team. Figuring out the why and what it takes. Stay tuned!

Hope you enjoyed hearing more from John and this fun exercise. Is your company doing more with team challenges and events? Tell us in the comments below!

Jon Davis

Jon Davis is Cushing’s Marketing Manager. From blogging to online communications, Jon writes about client developments, environmental branding, and much more. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

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