Focusing on The Core

In fitness circles, focusing on “the core" means that there is an emphasis on exercises involving the muscles of the abdomen, back, and pelvis. These muscles are the seat of one's stability, strength and power. When these muscles are weak and unhealthy, all movements are affected and the body has difficulty doing even some of the simplest of tasks. At The CORE Group, co-founder Jill Dressel, a former collegiate athlete, recognized the parallels of this concept in business, namely when the source of one's strength and power is not healthy, then there is less balance and the business is not as strong or agile. "When I exercise, I am invigorated, am more efficient and life is better. One of our greatest strengths is our people and we wanted to find a way to help everyone be energized. The Fitbit was part of that answer."

The Fitbit is wearable technology that tracks various health and fitness goals and The CORE Group divided the company into teams, issued Fitbits to everyone and engaged in a friendly competition to encourage a healthy, balanced life. Nearly all employees readily embraced the challenge and the impact to the team has been profound.

Superintendent Al Phillips learned that "just because you run construction projects doesn't mean you burn the calories of a construction worker. My results were embarrassing, humbling and motivating all at the same time. This motivated me to change." Al started a daily workout routine, changed his diet, and the changes did not stop there. His wife joined him and both are enjoying the benefits. Al adds, "I am now averaging 16K steps per day. I have lost 18 lbs and I have to add holes to my belt so my pants don't fall down. The Fitbit program might be the thing that may help my longevity and I am thankful."

Others have seen similar results and the impact across the company has been encouraging. For Jason Castillo, the Fitbit Challenge was less about the health aspects and was "a fun way to get us moving and motivated and bring us together as a team outside of our daily tasks." The CORE Group is a tight family and anything that promotes teamwork, communication and camaraderie is a positive thing. For others, they remarked that it makes them think twice about their actions and they now do simple things like looking to find the stairs versus the elevator or walking to lunch. For others still, they have noticed that the snacks in the break room are being used less and less. Clearly this has had an impact.

Dressel adds, "Balance is key and though this industry is not always conducive to leading balanced lives, we strive hard to make sure work is not just a J-O-B, but a place where people enjoy working and where things like health and balance are valued." With the CORE Group having one of its best years ever, perhaps they are on to something.