From June 9th to 12th, Pierre Lavoie challenged managers: get your employees moving as part of the mission “1,000,000 km together”. The triathlete, whose name has become synonymous with physical activity in Quebec, answers our questions about leadership.
Posted at 4:00 p.m
What is the 1,000,000 km together mission?
The mission is to unite all of Quebec behind sustainable health. Sustainable health is a new word, but you’ll be hearing a lot about it in the years to come. It is the sustainability of human health. It’s about doing a million miles together, run, swim, walk, roller, canoe, do miles, whoever you want. Move, you can do it however you want, but the most important thing is to do it every day, throughout our lives. You have to convince the majority to make the switch, and that takes a few events. With the internet we can reach everyone. We invite companies to participate, they all have an interest in it. Specifically, it’s a web link to www.1000000ensemble.com, it’s not even an application, it’s very simple. From there you say you want to participate, you enter your profile and password. If you want to ride miles, you will be asked shortly beforehand if you are part of a group. If you indicate that you are part of the group, for example “Pratt & Whitney”, each time you enter your kilometers, these are systematically forwarded to your organization, to your group or to you individually. It’s free.
Do you think the pandemic and remote working in general have had a negative impact on the health and fitness of the population?
Yes totally. We had to find a way to motivate people to motivate themselves to move. They were taken home. Telecommuting saved our butts, it saved the butts of many companies, but at the same time, if you sit in front of your computer all day, everyone knows that it’s not good for your physical and mental health. That is why employers have to become attractive, they have to enrich their range of offers with physical and mental health for their employees. For that, you have to give them a moment a day. Employers would have a keen interest in paying one hour a day to all employees who choose to study during their working hours. An example: Your lunch break is from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. Your employer gives you an hour if you want. If you go to the train, you have a two-hour lunch break. Everybody knows. If someone goes to training, the employee has an appointment with the prime minister, you shouldn’t disturb them.
What does a company gain from moving its employees?
We talk a lot about the new generation. The job market is changing. Organizations, companies that want to keep the 1967 Chevrolet model, it won’t work anymore. If you want to be attractive, it’s one of those elements that you must add. First for productivity, for job satisfaction, quality of life and work-family balance. It improves the sense of belonging. We often do it in a group when we are in business. What drives a person to choose an activity on a daily basis, be it art, music or sport, are two main elements: fun and friends. If you have fun alongside the company of friends, it starts again the next day. We are lucky that our employees are already in a group and when we are flexible and do activities together it gives a special colour. A color that everyone will inevitably have to take, because soon the health system will be under so much pressure everywhere that everyone will have to do their part: companies, cities, we. When we do the “1,000,000 km together” and bring together almost 240,000 people, like last year, you start to have a public and political message that says Quebec has reached that point now. We are in a phase where COVID has shown us with a two year closure that we now need to take care of the mental health of our employees. And the best molecule for mental health, it’s been scientifically proven, is exercise.