Leading cycling clothing brand, Ciovita, recently introduced a Ciovita Culture Credits programme for its staff. It’s a programme that encourages them to ride their bikes and help immerse them even deeper into the cycling culture; and it’s already a great success. Here’s how it works.
Andrew Gold (left) and Freddie Enslin, the big chiefs of Ciovita, get ready for the company’s Wednesday morning group ride.
If time is money, then cycling time is pure gold. And that’s exactly what Ciovita, the South African-born, internationally successful cycling clothing brand, understands. In 2020 the Cape Town-based company, which makes and sells high quality cycling clothing and which employs a total of 105 staff, introduced Ciovita Culture Credits, which is three hours of week of cycling time!
Each staff member gets three hours a week of work time to use for cycling time. This can be on a smart trainer or bicycle outdoors. As long as the ride is uploaded to Strava for confirmation, it’s given as a Ciovita Culture Credit.
In addition, there is a Wednesday morning Ciovita staff group ride. The staff members range in cycling preference from triathlon to road to mountain biking to gravel biking. The Wednesday morning ride encourages staff to share time on the bike and create an out-of-office bond.
“When I started the brand, I wanted to focus our efforts into one single discipline. It’s my belief that if we really want to be a world-class specialist brand, we can’t be everything to everyone; and so we are unapologetic that the Ciovita Culture Credits only apply to cycling exercise,” explains Andrew Gold, Ciovita founder and owner.
“The Ciovita Culture Credits are a way to get staff out and about using and abusing product. We do weekly staff rides which are great for team building, but you’d be surprised how much interaction happens when we all get on our bikes. The R&D team interact with sales staff and we find ourselves solving all sorts of problems whilst in the saddle.
“I’m one of the older crew, but bikes have a tendency to transcend the age gap and we all just find ourselves riding for the love of riding. In the office I guess I can be quite serious and the time in the saddle I think makes me more approachable to the staff,” adds Gold.
Ciovita Culture Credits is a way to give Ciovita staff three hours of cycling time every week.
Here are five Ciovita staff members to give us some insight into themselves and how the Ciovita Culture Credits is benefitting them.
Courteney Webb, Sales Assistant
I am an allround cyclist. I do mountain biking, road and have recently just joined the gravel community. I would say that I’m a highly committed competitive athlete and race in the elite fields in both MTB and road. Everything else cycling related…100% fanatical.
What do you like most about Ciovita Culture Credits? The best thing about the Culture Credits is that it encourages more participation in the sport for working individuals. I enjoy that my professional work place recognises the sport that I do and how important it is to me, to the extent that they are willing to incorporate it into my weekly work schedule. That is so special!
Have you noticed a difference among your work environment/colleagues since the Ciovita Culture Credits were introduced? I would say that the Ciovita work environment is already quite a happy one. Just by the fact that it is centred around a sport that brings joy. Culture Credits means now that staff can get that extra little bit of an endorphin rush before work and are just relaxed usually because they haven’t had to rush to work from a crack-of-dawn ride.
How have the Ciovita Culture Credits made a difference to you, personally? We have started to implement riding as a Ciovita group into our weekly schedules and that I find to be really amazing! It really adds to a sense of camaraderie between the staff that ride. This means that now I can have a bit more freedom in my training and still balance work within the weekly schedule.
How do you usually allocate your weekly time credit? I wouldn’t say that I use my credits to their full advantage being a part-time employee. If it was necessary though, I’d split my credits across the week rather than use them all at once. This would just allow me more flexibility over a prolonged period of time.
Ray Cox, Head of R&D
I ride a lot, from structured training to easy ‘baggie’ social rides. I just love cycling.
What do you like most about Ciovita Culture Credits? It gives me a chance to break away from the office but in the same breath connect with colleagues from other departments and discuss cycling of course.
Have you noticed a difference among your work environment/colleagues since the Ciovita Culture Credits were introduced? Yes, everyone is happier. As they say, you’re a cycle away from a good mood.
How have the Ciovita Culture Credits made a difference to you, personally? If you live cycling, you will make better cycling products.
How do you usually allocate your weekly time credit? Morning rides then the Thursday Criterium.
Bianca Silberbauer, Customer Service Specialist
I am a mountain biker through and through. I have been known to join on the odd road ride, either on my MTB or on my 1980s Benotto steel-frame roadie (even a Killarney Crit or two). Put it this way, I am fanatical about social rides, but always keen for a bit of a suffer-fest, and always keen to push my limits on an extreme event.
What do you like most about Ciovita Culture Credits? I was so excited to hear that Ciovita was introducing the Culture Credits because I had been struggling to fit in cycles before or after work with the limited daylight hours, now we can get in late, or leave early to join the squad for a morning coffee ride; or beat the traffic to the Killarney Crit and most importantly, it gives me time to explore our beautiful mountain!
Have you noticed a difference among your work environment/colleagues since the Ciovita Culture Credits were introduced? Yes, for sure, it definitely creates a better working environment. I feel there is a lot of camaraderie around sport, especially with the weekly group rides we do from the office, where you can spend time with your colleagues outside of the office environment.
How have the Ciovita Culture Credits made a difference to you, personally?
Being able to go for a morning ride before work, without stressing that you’re running late is awesome. I always feel I have a better day when I can appreciate the sunrise from my bike instead of rushing to get my ride in, shower and get to work on time. Now I use my Culture Credits to take a scenic commute through the mountain, and since Ciovita has shower facilities, I can shower as soon as I get to work, then get stuck straight into a great day at work.
How do you usually allocate your weekly time credit? It completely depends on the week and what other activities I’m doing, but either the odd half an hour to an hour a couple of mornings a week with commuting in, or leaving early to get to the Killarney Crit. Or all at once for a long morning ride.
Jonathan Stamatis, Shop Manager
I’m in the middle of being highly committed and fanatical about my bicycle riding, largely due to the love I have for cycling and racing bikes; and my main sporting focus, which is to participate in triathlons. So, as you can see cycling is a huge part of my daily training regimen.
What do you like most about Ciovita Culture Credits? The Ciovita Culture Credits allow me to either get in those extra crucial hours that I wouldn’t have been able to get before; as I am able to prove that I’ve been cycling. This boosts my endurance which in turn helps me perform at a higher level each year I race.
Have you noticed a difference among your work environment/colleagues since the Ciovita Culture Credits were introduced? Apart from my personal reasons for loving the culture credits, I love being able to ride with my colleagues. It adds to a crucial role in our relationships in and around work hours promoting a fit, fun and healthy professional environment.
How do you usually allocate your weekly time credit? At the moment I’m using my three hours for a Tuesday evening Crit at Killarney, Wednesday morning Ciovita ride & East City Cycles ride on Friday morning. On Tuesdays we meet up at Killarney for a fun and fast ride as a team; Wednesdays are a long ride with my colleagues and Friday is a fun ride with like-minded people and coffee.
Cally Silberbauer, Graphic Designer
I am a mountain biker. I am very much committed to being on the mountain, but have ridden on the road. I ride 2-3 times a week, largely for enjoyment. I’m committed to riding, not training.
Photo credit: Oakpics
What do you like most about Ciovita Culture Credits? It’s so important for a cycling brand to be passionate about cycling. Living the brand is a vital part of any business. It’s incredibly cool that Ciovita has this initiative that allows us to arrive a bit later on some days so we can spend more time on the trails. Where better to test out our Ciovita kit than on the bike? Being able to relieve stress and stay healthy is a very important part of us working efficiently.
Have you noticed a difference among your work environment/colleagues since the Ciovita Culture Credits were introduced? It’s such a good team-building experience as well. Such a different vibe being with colleagues on the bike and then having a post-ride coffee. As a new staff member, it’s been great way to get to know the team on a different level. We have a common passion which is amazing.
How have the Ciovita Culture Credits made a difference to you, personally? I get almost grumpy if I don’t get enough exercise during the week, so being allowed time to get exercise is great. It’s very important for me. I definitely need some outlet for all the stress build-up. I have a high-paced workload so it’s a welcome balance.
How do you usually allocate your weekly time credit? Recently, our staff group rides on a Wednesday AM, have used up the entire allotted time. But that’s changed now and it doesn’t count towards our credits. It’s not a problem at all though as I enjoy spending as much time as I can with the team. Going forward I will look into splitting it though.
For more information on Ciovita and its products, visit https://ciovita.co.za/
Paid partnership with Ciovita