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Breaking the ice between remote teams - The Ellis Whittam Story

By Rich Westman

As leading employment law, HR and H&S experts, Ellis Whittam understand how to take care of their team. Their growing wellbeing programme brought the benefits of movement and mindfulness to their driven, ‘client-first’ workforce of lawyers and consultants. But when the company’s October 2020 acquisition by Marlowe PLC introduced dozens of new faces to the EW family, they decided to step up their commitment to employee health and happiness.

It was a challenging time to blend two teams. The COVID-19 pandemic meant many staff were working from home, while others were based on client sites around the country. Sue, their Head of People Engagement, wanted to break the ice and build bonds with an enjoyable, accessible shared experience.

Sold on the science

Having rolled out walking and ‘I Spy’ challenges in the past, Sue and her engagement group knew the time-consuming admin linked to traditional team building. Ellis Whittam’s recent wellbeing activities had demanded hours of data entry, spreadsheet management and step count chasing – with zero metrics to measure success.

Kaido offered an end to end solution that removed the red tape and delivered a range of ready-made tools and resources – from pre-written comms to practical phone support. Sue described the effortless set-up, online access and streamlined day-to-day management as ‘a gift’, particularly for a newly merged team working across different locations and tech platforms.

Crucially, the challenge was also backed up by proven stats and science, fuelling staff buy-in from the very beginning.

Sue said:

"The fact that the challenges are built on best practice and used by the NHS made it easier to foster engagement and get our team on board. Employees trusted Kaido and were open to learning, trying new things and having fun."

A team building experience with something for everyone

Throughout the six-week challenge, 154 colleagues (across 27 teams) progresses towards a virtual destination, earning points, incentives and prizes along the way. Guided by a simple-to-navigate app packed with helpful tips and content, staff focused on positive changes to their wellbeing, food selections and sleep routine, boosting their personal health and their team’s position on the live leader board.

Sue added:

"The challenge worked for everybody, whatever their fitness level, personality or passions. Some colleagues were inspired by the aspect of friendly competition, while others connected with more reflective activities like stress management, meditation and mindfulness."

Conversations and collaboration flourished, motivation and mood increased and employees discovered different ways to work wellbeing into their day:

  • 94% noticed an improvement to their overall health
  • 90% made better food choices
  • 81% increased their daily steps
  • 96% raised their physical activity levels

Getting set for a second challenge

As Ellis Whittam gear up for their next challenge in September 2021, the team is looking forward to building on the positives and promises of their first Kaido experience – and adding to their list of glowing reports.

‘I feel as if I have gained a lot of laughs from this challenge and seen new sides to my colleagues. I have started doing walks with my family and now run weekly with friends.’

‘It has certainly been a journey! I am feeling very positive and so glad I joined the challenge, as I was not sure about it initially. Looking at what I do and eat on a daily basis has helped me plan better, move more and reach out to my fellow team members, which has been great, especially during this working from home/lockdown period.’

‘It has been really good bonding for the group. I especially like that it made me think and make contact with people I have not heard from for a while. This has been good for me and them.’

Curious about Kaido? Let us show you around

If you’d like to see how a Kaido challenge would work for your own remote, onsite or hybrid teams, we’d love to give you a free tour. Book a complimentary demo with one of our helpful team or chat with us on hello@kaido.org.