Drive Employee Engagement with a Commuter Benefits Program

commuter benefits program steigern die Mitarbeitermotivation. Nachhaltige Verkehrsmittel auf dem Weg zur Arbeit.

Strong commuter benefits packages help engage, recruit, and retain quality employees.

A well-designed commuter benefits program is much more than just a tool for rounding out employee compensation packages. When configured correctly, they can elevate employee engagement and fuel an appealing set of related competitive and productivity advantages.

 

What is employee engagement?

“Employee engagement” is a pliable term that means different things in different contexts. Experts generally describe it as relating to the psychological and emotional factors that impact job performance. Engaged employees tend to:

 

  • Put in more discretionary effort
  • Take more pride in their work
  • Display more commitment and loyalty to the employer

 

Obviously, these are advantageous outcomes that every employer wants to generate in their people teams. A comprehensive commuter benefits program can function as a highly effective tool for driving engagement across your workforce.

How a commuter benefits program engages employees

In 2023, the prestigious workplace consultant global research firm Gallup took a long, hard look at commuting in the post-pandemic environment. Gallup found that commuting was the top reason people balked at return-to-office policies. 

 

Experts widely believe that commute-related concerns were a significant driver of the unprecedented phenomenon known as the “Big Quit” or “Great Resignation.” Though the Big Quit ended in 2023, it sent shockwaves throughout the global corporate world.

 

Tuned-in employers heard the underlying message loud and clear: Going back to the “old way” of doing things just wasn’t going to cut it in the post-pandemic environment. Employees want stronger support for hybrid and remote work. When they do need to come to the office, they want it to be easier and less painful.

 

A well-designed commuter benefits program can address all of these concerns. Employers that provide strong support to their commuters have more appeal to job-seekers. Existing commuters become less likely to look for work elsewhere, and job satisfaction rates tend to rise. All these factors help build the kind of engaged, happy, and productive workforce that translates into major competitive advantages. 

Essential elements of an effective commuter benefits program

In the context of employee engagement, your commuter benefits program should be designed to make commuting as easy as possible. The daily commute is a major source of stress for millions of workers, and taking explicit steps to dial down that stress is essential to generating engagement advantages.

 

To that end, consider including the following features in your commuter program design:

Built-in hybrid and remote working opportunities

During the pandemic, millions of workers discovered for the first time that they can work effectively from home. Hybrid and remote work offer an excellent work-life balance, which commuters have been reluctant to give up.

 

Human resources experts broadly agree that employers should look toward supporting hybrid and remote work to the greatest possible degree. Nothing makes commuting easier than reducing its frequency or eliminating it altogether.

Perks for commuters who carpool

Carpooling is good for the environment, and it’s also a great social and networking tool. Companies that run carpooling programs foster higher levels of collegiality and stronger interpersonal ties in their people teams. This can make the workplace more social, fun, and engaging.

 

Some of the commuter benefits you can offer for carpooling include:

 

  • Rideshare matching services
  • Incentive programs for participants
  • Monthly fuel allotments for carpool drivers

 

These supports can encourage commuters to overcome reluctance and give carpooling programs a try. From there, the right management tools can help secure their long-term participation.

Special support for active commuters

As with carpooling, your commuter benefits program can and should include incentives and rewards for long-term active commuters. You can further strengthen your organizational support for active commuting by:

 

  • Offering secure on-site bicycle lock-ups
  • Providing basic bicycle repair tools and tire pumps
  • Giving employees free or subsidized access to local bikeshare networks
  • Supporting active commuters with a guaranteed ride home program

 

These benefits make it easier and more practical for commuters to adopt active modes, which themselves are linked with a long list of advantages. Key examples include reductions in illness-related absenteeism, parking costs, and healthcare spending.

Public transportation access

Commuter benefits programs routinely seek to shift commuters to public transportation. Offer your team members free bus, subway, or commuter rail tickets to use on an as-needed basis. You can also provide free monthly passes or fare reimbursements. 

Shuttle programs

Some workplaces are not well-served by local transit infrastructure. Depending on the size of your organization and its available resources, it may be feasible for you to build out your own infrastructure to reduce commuter reliance on driving.

Organizations that pursue this option tend to favor vanpools and private bus shuttles. You can offer these services on demand, or according to set daily schedules. Link the services to nearby transit hubs with strong service connections to the wider local public transportation network. 

Raise awareness of sustainable commute options with Pave Commute

Whatever services and benefits you offer, Pave Commute can complement your program by enabling everyone to celebrate sustainable choices with recognition, rewards, and challenges. Get started by trying Pave Commute for free with your team for 30 days. 

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Picture of Lisa Oberstaller
Lisa Oberstaller
Lisa, Marketing Manager at Pave Commute, is the newest team member, having joined in March 2023. She is determined to demonstrate that small changes in our daily commutes can have a big impact on the environment.
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