The employee experience has emerged as a critical topic of focus among enterprises in recent months. Over the course of 2021 and into 2022, U.S. workers voluntarily left their jobs at never-before-seen rates. The phenomenon, dubbed the Big Quit or the Great Resignation, triggered alarm bells in boardrooms across the country. Executives and human resource professionals began digging into the reasons for the trend, with many finding their own shortcomings as employers a key driver of the exodus. It will come as no surprise to those in the transportation demand management (TDM) industry that subsequent discussions surrounding strategies for improving employee job satisfaction and retention rates came to include commuter programs.
A widely cited 2018 survey found that 23% of U.S. workers had quit a job at least once because of a difficult or stressful commute. Daily commuting woes are a common experience for members of the workforce, something the COVID-19 pandemic only intensified. As COVID-19 spread, commuting moved past being an inconvenient hassle to a potential health risk.
Surveys aiming to take the proverbial temperature of post-pandemic U.S. commuters have yielded interesting results from a TDM perspective. One such effort, carried out on behalf of the rideshare organization Get There Oregon in 2022, queried more than 200 human resources professionals around the state about their priorities and their perception of trends affecting the workforce. The collected data put a bright spotlight on important role commuter programs stand to play in an age of heightened awareness of the importance and value of the employee experience.
Key Findings of the Get There Oregon 2022 Commuter Survey
Solving Recruitment and Employee Retention Problems Is a Top Priority for Businesses
While U.S. workers walking out of their jobs in mass numbers was one of the most consequential business stories of 2021, there’s more to the Big Quit than resignations. Companies have also struggled to recruit new employees to replace those who have left their jobs, creating a unique situation with no easy answers.
Employee Priorities Are Changing
Companies used to address recruitment and retention challenges mainly by throwing money at their problems. However, employee priorities are shifting in new directions in the post-pandemic landscape. For many workers, the employee experience has emerged as a more powerful motivator than money. Get There Oregon’s 2022 survey data reveals that companies have responded by placing more emphasis than ever on job satisfaction, mood and morale, and employee health and wellness.
Employees Want Effective Commuter Programs
Businesses seeking to improve the employee experience can focus on two areas identified by survey respondents as ranking among employees’ top concerns. Get There Oregon’s 2022 polling found that employees want effective relief from their daily commute-related struggles. In a related finding, researchers also found that people teams expect businesses to provide ongoing opportunities to split time between on-site and offsite work.
Long-Term Remote Work Seems Likely
Get There Oregon reports that 81% of polled HR representatives expected their organizations to allow team members to work remotely some or all of the time on a long-term or permanent basis. This could signal a generational shift in the commuting landscape.
Allowing Remote Work Could Ease Recruitment Troubles
In addition to adjusting their recruitment and retention efforts for the post-pandemic landscape, Get There Oregon’s 2022 survey also found that allowing remote work on a long-term basis stands to benefit their people teams in many other ways. A majority of the HR professionals who participated in the survey said that hybrid and remote work generally offers employees a better work-life balance. This, in turn, improves their job satisfaction and makes it more likely that they will make a long-term commitment to the employer.
What Does the Get There Oregon 2022 Survey Reveal About Commuter Programs?
Get There Oregon’s 2022 survey has profound implications for commuter programs. It demonstrates how businesses that make meaningful investments in an improved employee experience stand to navigate ongoing recruitment and retention challenges with greater ease, and at a lesser cost. The survey also reveals the crucial importance of making support for hybrid and offsite work a central focus of modified post-pandemic commuter programs.
At the same time, businesses should still focus on providing meaningful commuter supports to their on-site team members. There are many ways companies can make life easier for their commuters, and [[RIDEAMIGOS/PAVE COMMUTE]] assists clients by providing advanced analytical insights and high-performing technology tools.
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