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‘Pool’ together to ease pain at the pump

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in HR Management,Human Resources

How much did that last gas tank fill-up cost you? $60? More? With gas prices near historic highs, some organizations are attempting to help out.

Nearly 57% of large and small companies have launched at least one program to beat the high cost of commuting, a new Challenger, Gray & Christmas survey reports.

The most popular policies allow employees to work a compressed workweek of four 10-hour days. And 20% say they’ve organized employee car pools.

If a compressed workweek isn’t in your future, try organizing a car pool.

“It’s a win/win situation because not only are you using your vehicle less but you’re also meeting new people who you wouldn’t meet otherwise,” says Williamsville, Ill., resident Bill Davis, who recently converted to car pooling.

Here’s how you can set up a car pool program and avoid the gas pinch:

Invite participation.
Post a large map on a central wall and ask people to mark their home addresses with tacks. The map will reveal potential car pooling groups (or a lack of interest).

Hold a morning coffee
so potential car poolers can meet. Provide the map showing where employees live or a list of names grouped by neighborhood. People can begin self-matching. For larger groups, provide tables for each neighborhood.

After the initial meeting, create an intranet board or public folder where staff can post messages saying they need a lift or would like to offer someone a ride.

Boost participation at the beginning
by providing incentives for car poolers, such as gas vouchers, free breakfast, priority parking or a prize drawing.

Establish ground rules. Ground rules keep things running smoothly. Examples:

  • Be on time, whether you’re driving or being picked up. If you can’t make it, call or text in plenty of time to allow fellow car poolers to make other arrangements.
  • Make sure you have plenty of fuel in the tank.
  • Don’t make or request unexpected detours to run errands.
  • Show consideration when it comes to your own habits and be tolerant of others. Talk about preferences regarding music or eating inside the car.

Tip: Let participants come to their own arrangements on sharing costs and driving responsibilities, such as how to reimburse the primary driver for reasonable wear and tear on the car.

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