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In the hustle and bustle of today’s business world, it’s refreshing to see companies not only understand but invest in employee commutes in a way that impacts workplace well-being and productivity, recruitment and retention, and, ultimately,  the bottom line. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) in Georgia showcases how a commitment to employee satisfaction can not only retain talent but also foster a more sustainable and community-oriented workplace culture.

Overwhelming interest in vanpools

In early 2023, faced with the daunting task of relocating their business from Downtown Atlanta to Alpharetta, the BBB knew that the move would impact their staff, especially those living far from the new location. Rather than ignoring impending commute challenges, they embraced the opportunity to innovate and support their employees through a commuter program. 

A pivotal moment came with the results of a commuter survey conducted by GCO in collaboration with the BBB. The findings were crystal clear: 77% of staff were interested in trying vanpooling, signaling a strong demand for a viable alternative to traditional commuting methods. Armed with this insight, the BBB wasted no time in championing the cause of vanpooling among its employees.

Enter the vanpool program, a solution that not only addressed the logistical hurdles of commuting but also underscored the BBB’s commitment to its workforce. Spearheaded by Sunny Dellinger, the Director of Administrative Services, and supported by Georgia Commute Options (GCO), the vanpool initiative was set in motion to alleviate the stress and financial burden associated with the relocation.

A big win for employees

Employees residing in the cities of Jonesboro, Douglasville and Stone Mountain were hardest hit by the relocation. For many, commute distances doubled. The subsequent formation of three vanpool groups, catering to these employees marked a significant milestone in the BBB’s journey towards fostering a more inclusive and employee-centric workplace. Jonesboro resident Jennifer Warren saw her commute lengthen from about 17 miles one-way to more than 40, making the commute a financial hardship on top of adding hours to her workday. She said the vanpool experience has been nothing short of transformative, offering ease, convenience and camaraderie in place of what had been an unpleasant daily experience behind the wheel.

What sets the BBB’s vanpool program apart is its unwavering commitment to employee welfare. By fully subsidizing the vanpool costs, including gas expenses during office days, the BBB not only lightens the financial burden on its staff but also sets a precedent for corporate social responsibility.

“We are very happy to be able to offer this benefit,” Dellinger said. “We are also conscious of sustainability and a lot of our accredited businesses are concerned about that [as well].” 

In embracing vanpooling, the BBB not only enhances employee satisfaction but also aligns itself with the broader movement towards environmental sustainability—a win-win scenario for its workforce, the company’s larger business goals and the community.

As employers, BBB offers a playbook on what it means to prioritize the well-being of its employees. Beyond the bottom line, investing in initiatives like vanpooling fosters a more engaged and loyal workforce and underscores a commitment to creating a more sustainable future. 

To learn more about how your company can emulate the BBB’s success with vanpooling, visit Georgia Commute Options’ Employer Resources page.

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