Inspired by Dan Arriola's post about Inktel's commitment to #Squatober (thank you, Dan!), I've been reflecting on the transformative power of such challenges. For those unfamiliar, Squatober is a month-long celebration dedicated to the squat exercise that has grown into a worldwide event, drawing participants from all fitness levels. You can learn more here - https://bit.ly/3RJgwGi
In contact centers, fostering connection, camaraderie, and belonging can be the antidote against attrition and performance issues. The beauty of Squatober? Everyone, from the frontline rep to the C-Suite exec, can participate, echoing the ethos of TouchPoint One’s Contact Center Performance Challenge solution, A-GAME Leagues! More info about A-GAME Leagues here - https://bit.ly/45cutQd
However, a crucial aspect we must address is inclusivity. Our colleagues with disabilities, pivotal in the CX ecosystem, deserve adaptations that allow them to fully participate. While I've brainstormed some ideas, I'm reaching out to experts and advocates like Kate Brouse, Tiffany Yu, Bradley Baumunk (Mr. Ironman), Butch Reynolds, Emily Ladau, Ariana Huffington, Jeremy Andrew Davis, Jeff Cavaliere, Meryl Evans, Natalie Petouhoff, Keely Cat-Wells, Bert Sorin, Julie Harris, Zoe Guirlinger, Becca Lory Hector, Brandon Farbstein, Ryan Honick, Troy McGowan, Catarina Rivera, Haben Girma, Natalie Trevonne, and any other creative problem-solvers who’d like to chime in.
If you're reading this, we need your insights! The mission is twofold. First, we want to discover ways to make fitness challenges like Squatober more inclusive, ensuring everyone gets to experience the benefits. Equally significant, we recognize that when these programs are truly inclusive, organizations themselves stand to gain immensely. By ensuring everyone is involved, businesses like Dan Arriola's can maximize the positive impact on team morale, cohesion, and overall performance. So it's not just about doing right by every individual; it's also about boosting those business results that matter.
- Wheelchair Users:
• Wheelchair Pushes: Similar to squats, pushing one's wheelchair can be a great upper body workout. Participants can do timed pushes or distance-based challenges.
• Resistance Band Exercises: Using resistance bands, participants can do seated rows, chest presses, and shoulder exercises.
- Visual Impairments:
• Guided Workouts: Audio-guided workouts can be beneficial. These can be in the form of descriptive audio recordings or live sessions with trainers.
• Tactile Markings: For any floor exercises, tactile markings can help participants identify their positions.
- Hearing Impairments:
• Visual Guides: Workouts can be demonstrated using visual cues, charts, or videos with clear demonstrations.
• Vibration Timers: For timed exercises, vibration-based timers can signal the start and end of a workout segment.
- Limited Lower Body Mobility:
• Upper Body Cardio: Activities like seated punches, arm circles, or using hand pedals can provide a cardiovascular workout.
• Strength Training: Using light weights or resistance bands for bicep curls, tricep extensions, and shoulder presses.
- Cognitive Disabilities:
• Simplified Routines: Breaking down exercises into simpler steps can be beneficial. Visual aids, repetition, and consistent routines can help.
• Group Activities: Engaging in group exercises can provide a supportive environment and motivation.
- General Ideas:
• Breathing Exercises: Focusing on deep breathing or meditative practices can be both calming and physically engaging.
• Stretching Routines: Gentle stretches can be adapted for various abilities and can help with flexibility and relaxation.
• Desk Exercises: Given the contact center environment, desk-based exercises that can be done during breaks might be beneficial. This can include seated leg lifts, seated torso twists, or even simple neck and shoulder stretches.
- Engagement and Tracking:
• Virtual Platforms: Use platforms where participants can log their activities, share their progress, and engage with others. This can foster a sense of community.
• Incentives: Offer rewards or recognition for consistent participation, regardless of the type of activity.
The overarching goal is participation, engagement, and community. Every form of activity holds value, and the challenge emphasizes consistent effort over specific exercises. Feedback, especially from those with disabilities, can offer insights into refining the challenge to be more inclusive and enjoyable for all.
In a world that sometimes feels divided (ok, these days continuously), the benefits of a healthier lifestyle stand strong as a unifying force. Challenges like #Squatober present an opportunity for continuous engagement and unity generally and one that’s urgently needed to combat the forces undermining individual and team success in CX and other organizations today.
While the spotlight here is on Squatober, the broader message transcends a single event. Every employee engagement initiative, operational process, or policy should be crafted with a comprehensive lens, ensuring inclusivity at its core. KISS without Ace, chili without cumin, Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie (and whipped cream) - just doesn't feel right, does it? Leaving out a group from something like Squatober is pretty much the same deal. It's like missing a key ingredient that makes the whole thing come together.
As we push for a more inclusive Squatober, let it serve as a reminder that in every facet of our organizations, no one should be left on the sidelines. True success is achieved when everyone is given an equal opportunity to participate, contribute, and thrive.
Spot Me on This: This Squatober, let's aim for a PB in inclusivity. Share your insights, and let's make sure the only thing we're excluding is bad form!
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