National Fun at Work Day is an unofficial American holiday on January 28th, but we’re proposing that it be celebrated world wide!
If you think your company is too busy to have fun, consider this:
Forbes magazine says, “Beyond salary, psychological and social fulfilment can determine which employees are motivated to stay, perform, and contribute to organization success.”
Paul Dolan, Phd, author of Happiness by Design says, “Studies suggest that if you’re not happy at work, you’re less productive, more likely to take days off sick and a poor problem solver.” (Source)
Having happy employees is not only better for them, it’s better for your bottom line.
Of course, creating a company culture that contributes to happy, engaged employees is a year round effort, but if you’re looking for a way to kick off the New Year with fun, try some of these tips for National Fun at Work Day.
- Put small basketball hoops in the office or the break room over the trash. You can even get your riders involved in the fun, and you just might find that you end up cleaning up less trash at the end of the day.
- Start a box of silly toys and trinkets, and keep adding to it throughout the year. A whoopie cushion, a toy sword, masks… Don’t hog all the fun for your employees! Consider how you can brighten your riders’ days too.
- During the morning meeting, have the person speaking wear a funny hat. Anyone who wants a turn talking must wear the hat.
- Do you already have an especially fun employee on your team? Create an award for the Funnest* Employee of the Year and give an award like an enormous beach ball. Get the team revved up about who will win the award for 2016 and the types of ideas that will work within your business.
*Funnest isn’t a word, but it will drive the grammar police in your company crazy.
- Give everyone a “page a day” calendar with jokes or funny quotes to brighten their whole year.
- Start a new routine of doing stretches, deep breathing or a joke at the morning meetings.
- Ask each employee for interesting trivia about themselves, create a puzzle with the information, and pass it out on Fun at Work Day. Give a prize to the employee who matches the most bits of trivia with the correct employees.
- Take suggestions for names for each one of your transit vehicles. On Fun at Work Day, put up pictures of each one and the name suggestions. Employees can vote by writing the number that correspondences to the name on a bite sized candy bar with a permanent marker. The person who suggested the winning name gets to keep the candy.
- Have a white elephant auction and potluck to celebrate FUN!
- Fill the break room with balloons and beach balls.
These ideas were taken from or inspired by Workplace Fun Ideas by David Koutsoukis and 52 Ways to Have Fun at Work by Baudville.
And finally remember, that Have Fun at Work Day should be an attitude that lasts the whole year!
Have a great day.
The New Year is coming right up, and along with the fun and festivities come some challenges like dealing with intoxicated or unruly passengers. We want your transit company to have a safe New Year’s Eve, so we’ve compiled some ideas to help the night go smoothly.
Review records of incidents in prior years to identify locations that were hot spots for trouble. You can use this information to co-ordinate with authorities and see if extra patrols would be advisable, and to schedule your security services if you employ them.
Make sure your security cameras are in proper working order, so you can record any incidents if they do occur. This is also a good time to test panic buttons.
Schedule a meeting with your operators this week for a review of safety procedures. They should have training on how to recognize intoxication or drug use, how to defuse potentially volatile situations and how to handle unruly passengers. Encourage your operators to be professional and firm in enforcing fares and rules, but not to the point of escalating conflict or risking personal harm.
The Transit Cooperative Research Program recommends courses in verbal judo, which can teach operators de-stressing techniques, how to “calm a hostile customer and diffuse a potentially violent situation.” If you have provided your operators with self-defense training, this is a good time to brush up on those techniques. If not, consider offering this instruction as soon as possible in the coming year.
Also, keep in mind that this is a difficult time of year for many people, and your operators may have just had a hard holiday season themselves. It will be hard for them to smooth the ruffled feathers of passengers if they are dealing with stress or grief themselves. Take some time to check in with each employee and see if there are any steps you can take to boost morale.
Combining Vehicle Tracking that shows the location of the transit vehicle at all times with Real Time Status Updates to notify your passengers of delays or route changes can be beneficial, will allow you to keep riders informed of changes or delays.
Have a great New Years and stay safe.
Winter is here, and snow storms are hitting hard all across the Northern Hemisphere. Whether you own a shuttle bus company, or manage school buses or city buses, you know how important it is for your drivers to stay safe, and keep your precious cargo safe. We have some tips to help your bus drivers be careful on the icy roads.
Training is not just for new drivers. We could all use a reminder now and then about how to drive safely, and when we are in emergency situations, we tend to fall back on those skills we’ve practiced. Set up a training area where drivers can work with instructors and practice increasing their following distance, and techniques for braking on ice and using anti lock brakes (ABS) properly (steady, constant pressure).
Consider telling your bus drivers to take alternate routes, and make sure they know routes that avoid large hills or particularly icy areas, so they can make those decisions on the road if necessary.
Make a discussion of the day’s weather forecast part of your morning meeting, if you have one. If not, consider implementing this habit so everyone in your company starts out the day with the information they need to stay safe and be productive.
Give your bus drivers a pre-trip inspection checklist, and make sure you’re giving them permission to be on the clock early enough to get it done.
Pre-trip Inspection Checklist
- Do the heaters work?
- Are the wiper blades in good condition?
- Is the widow washer solvent full?
- Do I have a can of de-icing spray?
- Are the headlights working and clear of snow?
- Are all of the windows and mirrors clear of snow?
10 Tips for Driving Safely in Winter Weather
- Slow down.
- If you start to slide, don’t overcompensate or jerk the wheel. Use slow, steady movements.
- Apply steady, constant pressure to the brakes, especially if you start to slide.
- Don’t use cruise control.
- Use your low beam headlights at night or in the fog
- Wear sunglasses to reduce glare during the day.
- Increase your following distance.
- Use your air-conditioning or if not available, crack a window in the front and back of the bus to keep your wind shield from fogging up.
- Maintain a constant speed on hills. If hills are especially icy, consider taking an alternate route
- Use extra caution on bridges and overpasses, which may have ice before other parts of the road.
Finally, winter weather can cause buses to sometimes be late to their destinations. We can help you alert your riders about delays with Real Time Status Updates and inform them of route changes with Vehicle Tracking Software. They can receive these updates on their phones. Contact us today to find out how to provide this valuable service to your customers.
Do you have your holiday schedules out yet? Are your schedules online? And we don’t mean in a PDF file that your customers have to go digging through your website to find. You want your customers to be able to easily find your schedule on Google Maps or on their travel planning app from their phone, and you need to be able to quickly update them if bad weather causes changes.
“We’ve had our schedule just on our website for years. Why bother with online maps and travel apps?”
Transit riders expect you to be on time, every time, and they expect your route to be consistent. But you know that sometimes changes must be made. Your holiday schedule may have planned changes like coordinating around the Christmas parade, or sudden changes because of bad weather or a car accident blocking the road. Your customers will understand these hiccups if they know in advance, but not if you leave them stranded in the snow. Getting your schedules to your customers with a simple tap on an app, will allow them to plan ahead for changes.
Also, if you customers can find your schedule on Google, they won’t need to call your office to ask about the schedule or to complain that they can’t find it on your website. This means less money spent on employees to answer customer calls, and most importantly, you’ll have happier customers who will want to use your service over and over.
“But we’re a small company and we can’t afford to hire an IT team to make that happen!”
You CAN afford to make it happen, and you don’t need to hire an IT team. AddTransit can put your schedules and routes in GTFS (General Transit Feed Specification) which enables Google, Yahoo, and App Providers to easily include your data in their maps and travel planning programs. You can be competitive with the major transit companies for a fraction of the cost.
Contact us now to get your schedule on travel planning apps before Christmas!