Dept. of Revenue outsteps INSPD in head-to-head challengeposted by Jeff Mullins on March 2, 2018
In February, the Indiana State Personnel Department (INSPD) challenged the Indiana Department of Revenue (DOR) to a 12-day steps challenge within the Go365 wellness portal. It all started with a little trash talk between department leaders, INSPD Director Britni Saunders and DOR Commissioner Adam Krupp.
“I always love a good challenge, especially one that promotes health and friendly competition between state agencies,” Krupp said. “I wanted this one badly mainly because Director Saunders threw down the gauntlet with some serious trash talk. I’m joking, mostly.””
After more than 27.2 million steps were taken by 266 employees across the agencies, DOR emerged victorious when the challenge ended at midnight Feb. 23. Commissioner Krupp led by example logging more than 258,000 steps, helping DOR fend off INSPD.
“I set a personal goal of hitting 35,000-40,000 steps each of the last two days,” Krupp said. “So, late at night, I was on the treadmill Thursday and Friday until the gym turned the lights off.”
The challenge winner was determined by average steps and teams were at a near draw with two days left. In the end, DOR bested INSPD by 40 steps on average. Krupp wasn’t the only employee logging late nights exercising. In fact, some of his employees made it an all-day operation. DOR was led in steps by three employees from the Muncie District Office.
Jean Laytart led the way with a whopping 394,301 steps to pace the department. How did she do it? Well, there was no running involved.
“I get up at 3 a.m. every morning and after my first cup of coffee, I start my stretching then (do the) elliptical for 45 minutes,” Laytart explained. “Then 30 minutes on the (exercise) bike, in front of the TV of course.”
Laytart then puts in a full day as a tax analyst in the DOR’s Motor Carrier Audit Billing Section. She’s been with DOR for 22 years and just transferred from the Anderson office to Muncie in October 2017. But that’s just her day job.
“In the evening I do the same thing as the morning, even longer sometimes,” Laytart said of her 32,858 daily average steps per day.
Betsy Shroyer was second overall with 306,483. She says she was doing her best to catch up to Jean.
“I really don’t like finishing second,” Shroyer said. “I came to a realization that I would not catch Jean midway through the challenge. I did not give up, until it was not possible to catch her with the 40,000 daily step cap.”
Shroyer, a CPA, works as the District Manager for Audit Operations in Muncie and has been with DOR for more than 32 years. She said the office of 14 employees took group walks on breaks and they regularly participate in group challenges in Go365 each year. Like Laytart, Shroyer was not messing around first thing in the morning.
“I start each morning on the treadmill for one hour,” Shroyer recounted. “I prefer to start my day with 10,000 plus steps. During this challenge, I increased my treadmill time to at least 1.25 hours each day. I walked every chance I had, whether it was on the treadmill or outside.
Coming in third on the team was Paula McKinney with 263,936 steps. McKinney, a 27-year employee at DOR, says there are more than a few competitive coworkers in the Muncie office. She said she stepped up her daily workouts for extra steps.
“I saw I was in the top 10 and tried to work my way to third,” McKinney said. “I typically walk during both 15 minute work break times. In the evening, I either run or ride my bike trainer.”
The steps challenge wasn’t the only competition going either.
“Six of us at the Muncie office are currently in a weight loss challenge and my workouts have helped me lose eight pounds this year,” McKinney stated. McKinney works as Revenue Tax Auditor for the agency.
Krupp is quite proud of his agency. He said he knew going in that DOR employees knew how to have fun, but he also learned they are extremely passionate about winning steps challenges.
“There were coordinated walks at multiple sites and facilities on lunch breaks that featured great photo opportunities and good conversations – not about work, but about life and what’s going on outside the office,” Krupp said.
For their part, INSPD competed very well. Brent Morrell, the agency’s Talent Acquisition Director, was third overall logging 284,453 steps. Morrell told of many late nights on the treadmill. Ken Davenport, a Human Resources Director with INSPD, was close behind Brent with 276,786 steps. Davenport was the team cheerleader, urging the INSPD team with messages posted to the agency’s intranet site.
“During this challenge, I saw firsthand how business operations can improve by employees participating in a simple walk together each day,” Saunders said. “I can’t tell you how many INSPD and DOR employee walking groups I saw having fun during the challenge throughout campus.”
So this challenge is over and DOR has won. So what’s next? We asked Krupp who he would be challenging next month. Krupp said: “Feel free to let Dr. Walthall at FSSA know I’ve got my eyes on her agency! I have lots of friends and former colleagues from my days there within the Division of Family Resources. I can already anticipate lots of trash talk – all in good fun, of course.”
Your move, FSSA.