7 Steps to a Thriving Mobility Program
Did you know that companies who develop and maintain strong mobility programs consistently edge out their industry peers who don’t have active mobility policies?
As you will recall, in our last conversation about mobility, we took a look at what makes a great telework program. Now, it’s time to take your business to the next level of performance by building out a comprehensive mobility program.
As employee demand for mobility continues to grow and more and more companies are discovering the high ROI mobility delivers, the need for your company to have an effective program in place is greater than ever.
Whether your company is building a new mobility program or improving on an existing one, keep these 7 key steps in mind to create a thriving mobility program that will strengthen your business and boost your bottom line. Continue reading to determine how to answer these questions for your organization:
- What does mobility currently look like at your business?
- Is your company and workforce prepared to meet the challenges of the new mobile workplace?
1. Ask ‘why?’ with everyone at the table.
There are many different factors that motivate employers to establish mobility programs and many different ways your business can benefit.
Before diving in too deep, assemble your team—including staff from HR, Facilities, key Senior Management, and IT—to discuss why mobility makes sense for your business. Ask:
- Where are your company’s pain points—is it the rising cost of real estate or a parking shortage?
- Have you identified all the potential opportunities?
There are ways mobility can help you save big or even create new revenue streams. On the other hand, you may be looking at:
- How mobility can help you boost recruitment and retention
- Support your company’s commitment to sustainability
- Achieve your goals of reducing traffic
Evaluating each issue strategically with everyone at the table can help you structure and plan a mobility program to fit your unique business.
2. Do an inventory.
What do existing mobility programs look like at your business?
Some companies have been offering commuter benefits and mobility programs without even realizing it or communicating them to their employees!
- Do you offer preferred parking for carpoolers?
- Do you cover the cost of public transit passes?
- Is telecommuting allowed?
- Do you offer flex-time schedules?
Guess what? If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you already have a mobility program started!
These are just a few of the many mobility options employers often offer their employees. Once you identify everything you are doing, ask:
- Is it working?
- Are your employees taking advantage of your programs?
- Have you seen a return on investment?
Look at what’s working well for your business and what’s not. You may find there are easy ways to improve your programs or identify the need to reallocate budget to a different mobility benefit.
Ok. So you now know why you’re launching a mobility program and how to build on what you already have, but you’re still missing one key ingredient.
Conduct surveys to gauge your employees’ interest in various options—cycling, carpooling, taking the bus or train, etc. What options interest them most and what might motivate them to try something new?
You can also collect information that shows approximately where employees live and find out what times they commute to and from work. This will allow you to identify key opportunities to leverage ridesharing—carpooling, vanpooling, shuttles or other options.
Inquire about the distance and time it takes your employees to commute too. Employees who commute more than 45 minutes one way have the biggest risk of leaving the company. You may want to find a commuter benefit to make these employees’ commutes more enjoyable or less costly.
4. Formalize your program & conduct training.
Once you’ve designed your program, it’s time to make it official!
- Outline the details of your mobility program in company policies, human resources materials, and other corporate communications.
- Train managers to make sure they know what options are available for their employees and communicate the expectation that they’ll support the practice.
- Make sure that managers understand there’s senior level support for your program so they’ll feel comfortable making accommodations and promoting the options to their employees.
- If your programs include telework options, take extra care to train your managers in effective management of work from home employees. Deliver the right training to managers and employees, and set your programs up for success before anyone starts working from home!
5. Communicate & promote!
Your program will never get off the ground if your employees don’t know about it!
Leverage every communication channel available to get the word out about the various options available to help improve your employees’ commutes. Communicate through:
- Staff meetings
- Your company’s intranet or social network.
And give employees a reason to get involved! Get creative with incentives, contests, team challenges, and promotions to help spur your employees to give something new a try.
6. Tap into Apps.
Information that will empower your employees to try mobility options are just a smartphone tap away. Learn how apps can make mobility easy for you and your employees!
In most places, particularly large cities, there are dozens of apps on the market designed for commuters to help make their trips to work more enjoyable. Transportation apps can:
- Enable commuters to connect with potential carpoolers
- Purchase bus tickets and get stop times
- Avoid traffic congestion
- Find and reserve cars and bikes through car and bike share programs.
Research what kind of transportation apps serve commuters in your area, promote them to your employees, and help make mobility a breeze!
7. Get expert help.
Building a mobility program can be a big undertaking and challenging for many employers. Fortunately, there are skilled experts available to help guide your organization through the process.
Private consulting companies like The Thrival Company offer employers mobility services, including:
- Mobility program assessments and strategic planning
- Employee surveys and trainings
- Space utilization studies
- Design robust mobility and telework programs tailored to your business’s unique needs
Or you can also tap into the free resources available to you in the Mobility Toolkit on the Mobility Solutions website or get information from your region’s public transportation agencies.
Would you like a free program assessment survey to assess where you are at your company today? Want to stay up on the latest developments? Follow us on Twitter @mobilityworker or request your free assessment from firstname.lastname@example.org.