As the summer wraps up, it’s important that we squeeze the most out of every moment. Many families are taking last-minute vacations and dragging their kid from preseason workout to preseason workout, trying to make sure everyone is ready for the school season to start.
However this is the time of year when it begins to sink in that the year is almost over and we begin to realize that we have not yet hit our fitness goals.
The poor diets and late nights of this back-to-school season has your employees feeling stressed, depressed and exhausted.
Which means they are not bringing their best to the workplace.
One of the best ways to boost productivity is to improve your employee’s health. And an easy way to do this is by encouraging folks to bike to work.
For many, cycling to work does not require a huge commitment in terms of their commute, and requires less commitment then a gym membership.
Getting your clients on board with this workout plan and deliver an instant boost to your business’s bottom line. Here are six tips to launching a successful campaign.
1. Bike Parking
The first thing you need to decide is where you want your employees parking their bikes.
If your employees have nice machines, they won’t want to leave them in a bike rack, and you’ll need to setup a place inside where they can be brought. We would commonly stash them in an empty cubicle, but if you are serious, you might consider setting up indoor bike hanging.
Depending on the level of trust in your culture, you may need to have a place where your employees can lock their cycles or create parking close to where they work.
Theft is always a huge concern, and you must answer that concern 100% or your folks will refuse to get on board.
2. Clothes Changing
Hygiene is top of mind for everyone. Most commuters know that a simple wipe-down and reapplication of deodorant is more than enough refreshment after a ride.
However, it might be helpful to have a quick discussion on that. Depending how invested your company wants to get, you can offer extra changing rooms, wet wipes and hooks for hanging clothes while changing.
As you well know, there is nothing like friendly competition for getting humans engaged in an activity.
You can create charts where the athletes compete with each other. And if you want to take it up a notch, incentivizing your riders by tying their mileage into a cause that the company than donates to, or offering them a prize based on their mileage are two excellent ways to keep your riders involved.
The key is to update the “leader boards” frequently and create enough depths to the prizes so that even lower-ranked riders have enough incentive for staying engaged.
4. Lead By Example
There is nothing as powerful as seeing the leadership cycling up to work. I’ve been part of many different workplace incentive programs, and the ones where the leaders are actively having mini competitions amongst themselves or going out on lunch time rides together are the workplaces with the most engagement.
The key thing is to be visible. So even if you have to get to work 2 hours before your team, make sure they see your bike and your sweaty riding clothes. It sounds gross, but being real with your employees is the biggest thing you can do to get their buy-in.
Being vocal about your fitness culture is key. Frequently retouching the issue throughout the month with new incentives or new twists on the competition can keep the workout fresh for everyone.
Some riders may take several weeks to get engaged. Having a shorter,mini competition can help add life to the big competition and get new people into the game.
Adding in team rides or after work activities can serve double duty as team building exercises.
Don’t overlook the power of partnering with local bicycle shops to offer gift cards and discounts. The group buying power of a corporation can be enough to help get your employees preferential treatment and possibly engage some that otherwise wouldn’t participate. Some shops will even send an employee over during your team’s lunch hour to show them how to do simple bike repairs or to discuss with your team how to choose the best commuter bike.
Our very own Santa Rosa bike club can be another great resource for finding about additional rides happening in the area. Perhaps your business would like to go a step further put together a team that can fundraise together for an upcoming charity event. Some companies go as far as to have matching jersey’s they wear for the upcoming ride.
This type of community engagement can be invaluable in demonstrating to your team how serious you are about encouraging exercise and well-being.