Take steps to keep your employees from getting the commuter blues. Win their appreciation and loyalty in the process.
Your employees spend an average 52 minutes on their daily commute to and from work. Sitting in traffic, dealing with a flat tire, or waiting for the bus or train, your employees may be dreaming of an easier commute. You can’t move your employees closer to your company or magically make traffic disappear, but there are many steps you can take to make commuting easier and less expensive. Your efforts also can increase worker loyalty and reduce turnover.
Integrating commuter benefits into your compensation package can tremendously boost employee engagement. These perks may include parking reimbursements, public transportation allowances, gas gift cards, and onsite auto tune-ups.
Reliable transportation can make a tremendous difference in how your workforce functions. However, this can be particularly challenging for low-wage workers. Employers have devised some creative ways to help. These include:
- Partnering with a local car dealer to arrange low-cost leases for employees.
- Having a company Uber or Lyft account that workers can use when they have car troubles. (To prevent abuse of this benefit, you can limit it to 1 or 2 rides per month.)
- Having a fund that employees can use to get interest-free loans for new tires and costly car repairs.
- Offering rewards (such as gift cards) for employees who car pool or rideshare.
- Have a weatherizing day every fall where employees can get free or discounted car check-ups and antifreeze for the cold weather. Have another one in the spring to prepare workers’ cars for the summer heat.
Even those employees for who commuting isn’t a financial hardship can benefit from some creative perks. Commuting can be physically taxing, so yoga classes and onsite massages may be welcome. Long trips also can be boring and unproductive, so consider offering audio training, education, and motivational programs workers can listen to on the train/bus or in their car; or have a library of audiobooks employees can access. A podcast club can help make commutes fun and bond workers with common interests.
Flexible works schedules are likely to help you attract and keep good workers. At the same time, a generous work-from-home policy will help workers deal with snow days and school closures. Tracking remote work will enable you to see how employees are using the policy and identify those who may be using it too much or not being productive when they work remotely. Of course, not all employees are able to do their work from home. You may want to recognize those who have to come in when the weather is bad with free hot meals or other goodies.