Most competitions are winner-take-all or winner-take-most with respect to any prizes that are awarded. That is, the participant with the most points at the end of the challenge receives all or the largest share of the award. There is certainly nothing wrong with this approach when points can be validated and participants are on an equal playing field; however, the flaws of this structure are quickly exposed when this is not the case. For instance, what happens when participants are self-monitored? Sure, most participants will be honest to the best of their ability but, for some, ethics can be subverted when the prize is large enough. In other cases, when a population is physically diverse and the challenge is based on steps or active minutes, the distance runners win every time.
Another part of the winner-take-all challenge that is problematic is the take-all aspect. Instead of offering just a few top prizes, try offering many smaller prizes. Not only does this reduce the incentive to cheat, but it also allows more participants the opportunity to win and can be useful in emphasizing the real reason that participants should be in the challenge to begin with: to improve their health and well-being.
There are many techniques you can use to combat cheating and participant ability differences but many of them are onerous to implement and run the risk of limiting participation or engagement. As an alternative, we suggest using a raffle-based challenge. With a raffle-based challenge, the admin sets a minimum point value that participants must reach such as 100,000 steps or 1,000 active minutes to be entered into a raffle to win a prize. To keep participation levels up, the admin could set a minimum number for each week and give each participant a raffle ticket for each week they reach the minimum point total. Alternatively, if you would still like to reward top performers, give a raffle ticket for reaching a given number of points. For example, give participants one raffle ticket for every 10,000 points on the leaderboard. In that way, top performers can be rewarded for their efforts, but lower performers are still able to win the top prizes as well.
Using the ChallengeRunner platform, the admin can simulate the entire raffle-style selection process. Any style of challenge can be used so the actual activities involved and whether or not participants are organized into teams does not matter. Once you are ready for the system to select a winner:
While health and wellness challenges are a great way to promote a healthy lifestyle and improve team camaraderie, a winner-take-all approach may not be in the best interest of your organization since some participants are more physically capable than others and cheating is easy to get away with. A better method for choosing a challenge winner than just naming the participant at the top of the leaderboard may be to use a raffle-based system to provide all selected participants with a chance to win.Next >>