Getting Started with Employee Commute Management
Commute optimization has become a high priority for employers seeking to improve employee satisfaction. Organizations that prioritize the physical, mental, and emotional wellness of their people teams can generate loads of benefits and competitive advantages. Things like:
- Higher retention rates
- Lower recruitment, hiring, and training costs
- Better employee morale and productivity
- Less spending on healthcare benefits
Building a better commute is an easy yet impactful way to create a more positive workplace experience. Getting started with employee commute management is also easier than ever, thanks to Pave Commute’s turnkey technologies.
However, employers also need to put in the prep work before launching a commuter management program. They also need to monitor their programs closely to make sure they stay on track with their goals.
To those ends, here are seven essential steps to getting started with employee commute management and optimizing programs after they launch:
Before getting started with employee commute management, you will need to gather data. This includes assessments of:
- How your team members commute to work
- How long they travel, and how long their journey takes on a typical day
- Common commute-related pain points your team members experience
Customized surveys are a great way to generate this data. Allow participants to respond anonymously, and let them know that commute optimization is the survey’s core purpose. This may increase participation rates and improve data accuracy.
Establish clear goals for your commuter management program
The most effective commuter management programs have a simple, precise objective. Examples include things like:
- Getting more employees to adopt active modes of commuting
- Cutting parking-related costs by reducing demand
- Shifting a greater share of commuters from solo driving to public transportation
Commute optimization strategies can also dovetail with other objectives. These may include things like reducing the organization’s carbon footprint, aligning its operations more closely with employees’ values, or improving its sustainability.
Build a commute optimization plan
Developing a complete commute optimization plan takes time and effort, but it is critical to the program’s future success. Specifics will vary depending on your objective. Thus, organizations should always tie the plan to the program’s broader, clearly defined goal.
For example, if you were seeking to reduce parking demand, your plan needs to build in focused strategies for reducing the number of people driving their cars to work. Thus, your plan could either offer incentives to those who choose not to drive (“the carrot”) or introduce disincentives for those who keep driving anyway (“the stick”).
Approaches built around incentives (“the carrot”) tend to work better for employers. Disincentives (“the stick”) can erode trust and generate resentment. Governments sometimes use them, but they are riskier for employers.
Returning to the previous example of reducing parking demand, your plan could dangle a “carrot” to participants. Examples include:
- Parking cash-out programs
- Access to preferred parking spaces for commuters who carpool
- Free or subsidized monthly passes to local transit networks
Planning strategies can also extend to your entire workforce, rather than just to program participants. For instance, you might implement staggered, organization-wide work-from-home schedules to cut down on the number of people traveling to your worksite on any given day.
Secure the support of leadership
Getting started with employee commute management means getting your organization’s leadership on board. Show how your proposed program aligns with existing organizational goals, or advances new ones that benefit the company and its image.
Note that leadership-level endorsements tend to have a strong, positive impact on program success. They give your commute optimization plan added dimensions of authority and urgency.
Leadership can show their support in many ways. They can allocate organizational resources, offer financial backing, or actively participate themselves. Research has shown that leadership endorsements are associated with higher participation rates.
Promote and communicate your commuter management program
Before getting started with your employee commute management program, you also need to develop a communication strategy. To encourage participation, team members need to know:
- How the program works
- How it benefits them, the organization, and the community
- How to participate
- Who to ask if they have questions or concerns
For greater efficacy, distribute your message across multiple platforms. These can include email, intranet platforms, organizational newsletters, and live staff meetings.
Large organizations can have a program representative in each department. The rep can serve as the point person for the other members of their team.
Smaller organizations can appoint a single person to manage communications. This helps messaging remain consistent and ensures that everyone knows where to turn for more information.
Build in benefits and incentives
Transportation demand management (TDM) experts know that offering benefits and incentives drives higher engagement rates. People also enjoy feeling like they are a part of something everyone is excited about. Benefits and incentives make it easier to generate that kind of positive buzz.
Examples of particularly effective benefits and perks include:
Gamified commuter challenges are a great way to engage people. One fun way to play is to divide your commuter base into teams. Those teams then compete against each other to see which one can rack up the most alternative commutes. The winners earn a shared prize they can all enjoy—a fun group outing on a Friday afternoon, a free team lunch, or something more elaborate and alluring.
You can also consider pitching your program to include other employers in your area in the hopes of engaging them in a local smart commuting “league.” This approach, which works well for smaller employers, can also boost collegiality among your team members and enhance their sense of organizational pride.
For more ideas, review this article on smart commuter challenge and event ideas.
Points programs represent a gamification option for solo participants. In these programs, commuters earn points every time they travel to or from work using a qualified, sustainable mode. They can then apply those points toward appealing prizes or other valuable perks, such as a paid day off.
A popular variation allows commuters to earn entries into prize draws by choosing smarter modes of transportation. The more often a person commutes sustainably, the greater their chances of winning become. Pair the strategy with a mouthwatering prize and watch your engagement rates soar.
Organizations can also drive participation by offering free perks to commuters who participate. While this approach requires leadership to provide the necessary financial resources, it can make a huge difference in the success of your commute optimization program.
- Offering transit passes to commuters who agree to use public transportation
- Earn-a-bike programs
- Daily financial rewards for commuters who travel sustainably
Non-participants become considerably more likely to get involved if they know they stand to gain a direct personal benefit. Leveraging this proven nugget of behavioral science wisdom can work wonders for your commute optimization initiative.
Monitor and evaluate your results
Getting started with an employee commute management program is only the first step. You may need to refine your program based on engagement and uptake rates.
Advanced TDM data analysis tools can help. However, if engagement is not where you want it to be, chances are you will be able to see that without advanced analytics.
Commuter management programs often involve lesser or greater degrees of trial and error. Respond to the unique needs of your commuter base by making targeted and situation-specific adjustments. Effective changes could be as simple as offering better perks and prizes. In other cases, you may need to go back to square one and identify a new or clearer program goal.
Pave Commute makes getting started with employee commute management fast, affordable, and easy
Pave Commute provides complete, user-friendly tools for getting started with employee commute management programs. Our intuitive app connects commuters with a complete lineup of available alternatives to driving. We make it easy and efficient for commuters to shift to better, more sustainable modes of transportation.
The Pave Commute platform also collects comprehensive program data in a convenient, easily accessible dashboard. See how many employees have changed modes, track the modes most popular with your commuters, and use those insights to adjust your strategies for greater success.
Pave Commute offers plans that work within every budget range, and they can be launched with ease in just a few clicks. Get started with Pave Commute today by reviewing available plans and pricing.
We are ready
…and will be happy to support you in your employee commute management program