For decades, companies in the bike industry have offered benefits and perks to their employees as an incentive to ride their bikes more often. The alignment of a corporate mission/vision with the intended outcomes of a commuter incentive program makes the decision to offer this employee benefit an easy one for most companies in the bike industry. However, the perks of a bike benefits program aren’t exclusive to just bike companies, and an increasing number of organizations outside of the bike industry are implementing meaningful bike incentive programs to accomplish their own corporate objectives.
The reason these types of programs are becoming more prevalent is because the benefits of active transportation can be felt by more than just the people who ride their bike. Learn about why bike benefit programs are great for business, not just the people who choose to participate.
Listed below are the actionable steps required to design, promote and track a successful bike benefits program for every organization.
Design — Aligning a bike program with an organization’s objectives provides direction into what types of riding to encourage and elevates the overall program for key stakeholders. Some common bike program outcomes include carbon neutrality, workforce wellness, transportation equity, workplace culture, reduced dependency on parking, staff retention, robust benefits package and more!
Promote — A successful program is dependent on participation, which emphasizes the importance of promotion. When advertising a new bike program to future participants, highlight the following features:
- Timing — Launching in the middle of winter isn’t ideal. Tie the launch to an event that will motivate people to ride (i.e. Earth Day, Bike Month, first day of spring)
- Leadership Support — If the staff doesn’t believe senior leadership supports the program, they’ll be apprehensive to participate out of fear of public perception. Make sure to recruit a member of senior leadership to advocate for program success.
- Adaptability — There will be people who can’t fully participate and the program should be adjustable to accommodate everyone. Showcase the program’s adaptability to encourage maximum participation.
- Incentives/Rewards — Incentives and rewards don’t have to be a monetary burden on program administrators but they are necessary to encourage participants and ensure the longevity of the program's success.
Low cost incentive options:
- Public recognition through corporate communications.
- Decision-making power for future organization events.
- Traveling trophy to display at desk/home.
- Create a series of stickers/patches to incentivize ongoing participation.
- Allow participants to come in an hour late so they have more time to enjoy their ride to work.
- Employees can leave early to ride home in the daylight.
- Name a conference room after a top participant.
- Bike accessories bucket (tubes, patch kits, CO2, etc) — participants can choose an item after reaching a program goal.
Track — Having a system to record participation allows administrators to quickly identify which program elements are receiving the most participation and repeat those activations throughout the year. It also provides insight into seasonality trends so the program can adapt as seasons and riding habits change.
Design — Company A would like to implement a new bike benefits program to compliment their corporation’s focus on sustainability. With their objective in mind, they’ll create a benefits program that encourages and rewards participants for riding their bike to replace car trips.
Promote — To increase the opportunity for participation, Company A plans to launch the program in the following way:
- Timing — Tying the launch to Earth Day will highlight the mission of the program.
- Leadership Support — The CEO will lead a group ride on the first day of the program.
- Adaptability — Those unable to ride a bike are given alternative carbon offset activities they can complete to participate in the program.
- Incentive/Reward — Company A committed to paying participants $2/trip for every ride that replaces a car trip. The max benefit will be capped at 25 trips each month. The reward will be paid for trips taken seven days a week unlike a traditional commuter incentive program that only pays for trips to and from work.
Track — Using the Ride Spot app, Company A program administrators see how many trips are being completed each month and can use the aggregated data to show their board the program potential for carbon offset. They also use the app to create quarterly ride challenges to encourage participation around themed holidays (i.e. May Bike Month) to generate spikes of activity and give non-participants an additional incentive to join.
Ready to roll? Schedule a meeting with the PeopleForBikes team today to leverage their bike program experience and create the perfect program for your organization.