“Do as we do. Take the stairs.” A paper with this message was the first thing that caught my eye when entering the ORMIT office for the first round of my application. Although you don’t want to sweat or be out of breath before your first appointment, I took the stairs (Imagine I would cross someone when stepping out of the elevator). What I didn’t realize was that I would share this simple message with a bunch of other people later on and that it would even lead to some kind of ‘Goedele-effect’.
Physically, my first assignment BNP in the ‘Talent Banking Functions’ team (HR) took place on the seventh floor. I hear you thinking already: yes, I started taking the stairs to the seventh floor at least twice a day when exercising for the 20km of Brussels. Most people looked with those strange eyes “Why would you do that?” when I arrived out of breath. But soon, some colleagues took the stairs with me after lunch: my first followers let’s say. However, I noticed that without me most of them still took the elevator.
To get better results, I started to work on their ‘extrinsic motivation’: I gave the interested colleagues a savings card and those with a full card before I left would get a smoothie from me. Of course this worked: people were passing my bureau several times a day to get their sticker. Although I didn’t really talk about it, my little initiative was food for discussion and I noticed more and more people got interested. Of course this challenge was not feasible for everyone, but for those other colleagues I had the ‘drink more water’ initiative.
Curious about the ‘intrinsic motivation’ of my BNP colleagues? Well, I am still in touch and I heard that most of the participants still take the stairs from time to time and one of them even always. What is also nice is that another team of the plateau started with a similar initiative and that even the facilities department encourages taking the stairs for a meeting on the first floor (although I doubt whether this last idea was my contribution). To finish: one of my ex-colleagues told me that they are talking about the ‘Goedele-effect’ now, which refers to taking the stairs and drinking more water.
One of the things I learned from this is that you don’t have to have to be a team leader yet to inspire and motivate people and improve group dynamics. Besides, I learned a lot about their company culture and it felt good to leave an ORMIT stamp in my host team at BNP Paribas Fortis…
The message that I found when getting to the 7th floor on my last working day: