Need to Recruit and Retain Top Talent? Don’t Ignore the Commute.

Employee commuter options are becoming increasingly important to members of the modern workforce.

For employers, the task to attract and retain the best available talent is becoming more and more complex. Members of the Millennial generation will make up three quarters of the workforce by 2025. So-called Generation Z is also entering the workforce in large numbers. Research consistently shows that these new workers hold a distinct set of values when it comes to what they look for in a job.

When it comes to choosing where to work, the new wave of professionals are interested in more than just money. They place high importance on achieving a positive work-life balance. They also strongly prefer organizations whose principles align with their own. For many workers, these principles include social and environmental responsibility. Millennials are particularly aware of ecological issues, and as such, they tend to take a positive view of organizations that are taking proactive steps to reduce their carbon footprints.

This growing trend extends beyond younger workers. A 2018 LinkedIn survey found that a whopping 85% of respondents said they would take a pay cut if it meant having a shorter daily commute. Job seekers are making increased use of tools that allow them to search for job opportunities that lie within their acceptable commuting time or distance range. These are clear signs that workers across age groups and demographics take the commute into consideration when weighing job offers. As an employer, looking to attract and retain top candidates, you can differentiate your organization by implementing programs to make life easier for commuters. Helping employees achieve a better balance between their work and off-the-clock lives are more productive and less likely to leave.

To that end, let’s take a look at some key employee commuter options that can give your organization a competitive edge.

Launch a commuter benefits program

Supporting commuters with a well-designed commuter benefits program is the single most effective measure your organization can take. These programs come in many forms and draw on a wide range of incentives and strategies to broaden their appeal. In general, the most effective strategies deliver meaningful rewards to commuters in a relatively compact time frame. This provides fast gratification while encouraging participants to adopt and maintain positive behavior changes.

One increasingly popular strategy is the points program. Points programs let commuters earn points when they track or log trips using a smart alternative to solo driving. They can redeem the points as they accrue over time for valuable rewards. City officials in Austin, Texas achieved high levels of participation when they introduced an innovative points program allowing municipal employees to cash in their points for paid time off – a highly meaningful reward. With that in mind, you should choose the rewards that appeal to your diverse workforce to help drive higher participation rates. Examples of possible benefits include:

  • Gift cards for online or local retailers
  • Tickets to sports or other events
  • Charitable contributions
  • Preferred parking
  • Vouchers for mobility service providers

In addition to incentive programs, you can also offer a range of other attractive commuter benefits, including:

Employers get the best results when they combine these offerings. So, instead of just setting up a points program, combine the points strategy with a few of the other options mentioned above to create a flexible program with wide appeal.

Offer flexible employee commuter options

In addition to commuter programs, employers can also appeal to job seekers by creating flexible options such as telecommuting and secure bicycle storage. Communications technology is making remote work a viable alternative in a growing number of jobs. Employers that continue to enforce rigid on-site participation policies increasingly risk losing their access to top talent.

While  biking to work is not always a faster option than driving, it can reduce stress and contribute to a healthier, happier workforce. Simple things like secure bike storage, shower access, and lockers to encourage cyclists can choose to leave their cars at home more often.

Learn from the mistakes and successes of others

Organizations that haven’t adapted to the changing workforce and mobility landscape are facing increasing negative productivity and recruiting impacts. Many are experiencing higher rates of lateness and absenteeism, lower employee engagement, and higher turnover. Furthermore, failure to adapt can negatively affect your employer brand, making it even harder to recruit and retain quality candidates.

RideAmigos helps businesses of all sizes implement more effective employee commuter options.

RideAmigos’ cloud-based platform and native mobile apps offer features that make it easy for organizations to manage commuter programs and simplify access to smart transportation alternatives. Our industry-leading transportation demand management (TDM) tools work for businesses of all sizes. Let us show you how commuter benefits can help build your employer brand while promoting better health, decreased traffic, and sustainability.

Get started today to learn how RideAmigos supports a complete range of appealing and successful employee commuter programs.

Why Free Parking Isn’t Necessary for Happy Commuters

Challenging assumptions behind workplace parking privileges

Employers tend to assume that providing employees with free parking is just a necessary cost of doing business. The underlying assumption is that free parking makes commuters happy, and happy commuters make for a happy workforce.

While it’s probably true that many car-centric commuters wouldn’t be happy if they were suddenly told they had to pay for their own parking, it’s still worth asking whether the chicken or the egg comes first when it comes to free workplace parking. Do businesses provide free parking because commuters drive, or do commuters drive because businesses provide free parking?

It’s a question without an easy answer, but what we’ve seen in our years of experience in the transportation demand management industry is that commuters are more likely to adopt smarter modes of transportation if they’re given a strong incentive to do so.

Free Parking Isn’t the Only Path to Happy Commuters

If you’d like to reduce employee reliance on single-occupancy vehicles, cut parking costs and encourage commuters to use smarter modes of transportation more often, all while keeping commuters happy, there’s a smart, simple way to go about it:

Give employees the option of trading in their free parking privileges for a different form of transportation incentive, like a free monthly transit pass, credit toward a new bike, or a monthly parking cash-out program designed to encourage carpooling.

This way, you empower commuters to make their own choices, all while protecting the goodwill you generate by offering free parking in the first place. Not only that, these programs can even be seen as added employee benefits for those who prefer transportation modes other than driving!

Check out our learning center for more information on alternatives to free parking that save businesses money while encouraging smarter commuting. You can also find out about incentives to promote ridesharing and tools to manage parking right here on our blog.

If you’d like to learn how our industry-leading commuter management platform can power your parking incentive programs, contact RideAmigos today.


Maximizing Government Parking

Why reducing employee demand for government parking makes good financial sense

Many government facilities include sizable, government-owned parking lots that are available to employees free of charge, and to other members of the public for hourly or daily fees. Given that public agencies are accountable to taxpayers and are thus always in need of ways to reduce costs and maximize revenues, these types of parking facilities can be a major asset when leveraged correctly.

The underlying strategy for maximizing government parking is simple: by reducing employee demand for free parking, government agencies can monetize a greater number of parking spaces. The newly vacant spots that would otherwise have been used by employees will be available for hourly or daily rental to other members of the public.

In addition to generally increasing revenue flow, this strategy can also be used to generate the income needed to cover parking-related costs, such as the construction of new facilities and the maintenance of existing ones. It also has the added benefit of helping relieve traffic congestion and greenhouse gas emissions, since fewer employees will be commuting in single-occupancy vehicles.

Specific strategies for optimizing the monetization of government parking facilities

There are several effective ways to reduce employee demand for government parking:

  • Parking cash-out programs: Offer employees the option to receive monthly or quarterly cash pay-outs in exchange for voluntarily reducing or rescinding their parking privileges.
  • Parking benefits programs for carpoolers: Vehicles used in carpools can be tagged for privileges, such as exclusive access to the best parking spots. The high visibility of this approach encourages more people to adopt ridesharing.
  • Subsidized transit passes: Provide partially or fully subsidized passes to local transit networks to encourage commuters to leave their cars at home more often.
  • Earn-a-bike programs: These programs incentivize bike commuting by allowing employees to earn credit toward a new bike. A recently implemented earn-a-bike program at Sonos makes for an excellent case study.

The more of these strategies you use, the better your results are likely to be. One of the often-overlooked keys to encouraging behavior change is to support as broad a range of commuter programs as possible. This lets employees to choose the modes of transportation that are right for them, allowing some to carpool, some to bike to work, some to use public transportation more often, and so on.

The RideAmigos platform provides a user-friendly, centralized management hub where commuters can access all their transportation options, earn and claim incentives, and participate in challenge programs. Administrators can also use the platform to generate and analyze commuter behavior reports and data, gleaning useful insights and tracking progress.

Get started with RideAmigos today to learn more.

Strategies for Reducing Parking Costs

Alternatives to Free Employee Parking

Free employee parking is part of the cost of doing business…but does it have to be?

By and large, employees expect free on-site parking at their workplaces. It’s so common that most people in non-managerial positions rarely consider how much it costs the company they work for to provide no-cost employee parking. By the same token, free employee parking is so ubiquitous that most companies just think of it as a necessary cost of doing business.

Yet, the realities of continued urban growth are putting the squeeze on a growing number of companies that are struggling to control parking demand and the associated costs. Building new parking facilities is an extremely expensive undertaking, and buying or leasing parking spots for employees in major urban centers can cost a shocking amount of money.

In an effort to keep parking costs and demand in check, it’s becoming increasingly common for businesses to consider alternatives to free employee parking. Since taking away free parking privileges or suddenly announcing that employees are expected to pay for their parking isn’t generally good for morale or employee retention, companies are looking for creative solutions with positive impacts. The good news is that there are many such options available.

Consider these alternatives to free employee parking and enjoy the ancillary benefits they deliver.

The key to reducing parking demand and the accompanying costs is to change commuter behavior. By guiding employees away from single-occupancy vehicles, businesses can achieve an organic reduction in parking demand and achieve significant cost relief.

Here are some winning strategies:

Parking cash-out programs. This approach offers direct financial benefits to employees who willingly surrender their parking privileges by giving them an opportunity to recoup some of the funds that would otherwise have been used to rent, lease or maintain their parking spot.

Earn-a-bike programs. Create a program that gives employees credit toward a new bike every time they log a commute using an alternative mode of transportation.

Subsidized transit passes. Full or partial subsidies for monthly passes to local transit networks gets more employees using public transportation, thus reducing parking demand.

Offering vanpools. Do a lot of commuters travel through a particular hub on your local transit network? Consider implementing a vanpool shuttle between that transit hub and your business site to help ease the parking logjam.

Offer paid credits to ride-hailing services. Like parking cash-out programs, this strategy reassigns the money that would otherwise be used to finance employee parking. Along with ridesharing and vanpools or shuttles, this can be a great strategy for solving “last-mile” problems between transit locations, home, and office.

By providing a varied range of alternatives, businesses allow commuters to choose the travel mode that best suits their lifestyle and preferences. Giving commuters the flexibility to use their preferred mode of transportation while enjoying full company support creates a win-win situation for all involved.

Get started today by learning more about alternatives to free employee parking.