Hereʼs a tip to establish a good workplace atmosphere, attract committed workforce, help with brand building. It is not expensive, and comes with the recommendation of the Hungarian Cyclists’ Club.
Labor shortage. Every HR expert starts to shiver when he or she has to think about replacing a colleague who left for another company. While businesses already employ a number of tricks to retain their workforce, replacements are hard to come by.
According to Global Talent Trends, a report by U.S. advisory company Mercer, employees in Europe prefer working at companies where they can keep a healthy work-life balance in an inspiring environment.
While having fully equipped break rooms is now almost a must, demand for services like laundry or a gym is steadily increasing. The key to improving the atmosphere is strengthening the community. There is a whole industry built on this with several businesses offering team building activities, yet in many cases the prices are high and the results are questionable.
A large share of companies recognized that brand building means not only the promotion of products for clients, but the image channeled towards potential employees. The new generation on the job market pays more attention to climate change, living consciously, and the social responsibility of businesses.
Still, businesses sometimes fail to go further than PR-friendly, symbolic steps. Additionally, being responsible also puts a considerable financial burden on companies.
However, there is a strategy that functions as a swiss army knife, ticking all the boxes when it comes to attracting and retaining employees. It offers a chance to improve the workplace atmosphere, forge a strong community, and take concrete steps to make the company more socially and environmentally responsible.
This strategy is cycling to work and joining programs that encourage this, such as the "Bike to Work" campaign.
The "Bike to Work" campaign began in 2007, organized by the Ministry of Economy and Transport. The Hungarian Cyclists’ Club took over in 2008, running yearly spring and fall campaigns. The aims are to create a healthier and happier community, a more liveable environment by maximizing cycle commuting to work. Participants of the campaign so far have cycled tens of millions of kilometers, saved petrol worth HUF 300 million, and prevented the emission of more than 1 million tonnes of carbon dioxide.
Numerous studies argue that cycling to work compensates for the negative health effects of sedentary work, and decreases stress as well. Those who take the bike can also avoid traffic jams and the stress that comes with crowded public transport vehicles. Whatʼs more, cyclists also tend to take fewer days of sick leave and do their job more effectively.
The community building factor comes from the team game provided by the campaigns. Teams collect their kilometers and cycling days via a smartphone app, competing with other teams.
Based on application data, there is also a platform where one can make individual and company rankings, offering an opportunity to create in-house competitions. Cycling to work, a physical challenge executed together for a common goal is an excellent tool to forge a workplace community.
A bike-friendly image can also play a key role in brand positioning. Companies that pay attention to creating cycling infrastructure (such as storage, showers, or a changing room) do not need to invest in costly greenwashing campaigns to prove that they are socially responsible and their commitment to the environment.
It is important to note that joining the campaign is free of charge for all companies. Participants only need the aforementioned free smartphone application, a bike, and determination. Of course, it is beneficial to have cycling infrastructure, but most modern office buildings are already equipped. Click here if you want to learn more about participation, the creation of a cycling-friendly environment, and motivating employees.