If there is one place where a bike benefits program should work, it’s the bicycle advocacy organization PeopleForBikes (PFB). Every individual staff member appreciates the power of the bicycle and shares the common belief that bikes make life great. However, despite the organization being full of bike riders, there are roadblocks that prevent people from riding. Below, we’ll unpack what we’ve learned, what has worked and what still needs work in the first six months of PFB’s bike benefits program.
Create a program by the people, not for the people — Before the program began, PFB team members were surveyed to understand existing bike riding habits and brainstorm benefit options to encourage participation. This simple step helped shape a program that catered to participant wants and needs.
- The average PFB participation rate (defined as logging one activity during the monthly challenge period) for January through June 2022 was 68%. Organizations typically target a 10% participation rate.
“I never would have ridden in February if it wasn’t for this program.” - Lily McCabe, PeopleForBikes’ administrative assistant
Stay top-of-mind with consistent communications — PFB’s program operates using monthly challenges encouraging staff to ride. By staying consistent with monthly communications, staff are encouraged to participate every month and reminded of the challenge with a mid-month status email.
- A mid-year survey revealed that 79% of participants prefer two emails a month regarding the bike benefits program.
Being nimble keeps programming fun and dynamic — Monthly challenges are the foundation of the bike benefits program at PFB, but the team has also introduced additional programming that aligns with topical events taking place during the same period. An example is the March challenge which encouraged participants to highlight a female hero or role model in celebration of Women’s History Month!
- 42% of survey respondents stated this additional layer of programming motivated them to participate more than the traditional monthly challenge.
There is value for everyone at the organization, even if they never participate — PFB’s bike benefits program is an extension of our work culture. Individuals will often share a Ride Story from their weekend adventure and team members will comment and engage with that content as a way to continue supporting one another.
- Of the people who have never used the bike benefit program at PFB, 100% responded that the program still adds value to their overall benefits package.
“This is the best employee benefit I’ve ever received.” - Jack Foersterling, PeopleForBikes’ copywriter and editor
Disconnect to connect — The easiest way to participate in the PFB program is using Ride Spot to track and report your ride activities. However, there are groups of people who would prefer to remove technology from their outdoor activities.
- Our solution for this cohort of riders is to provide another option for tracking participation after the activity has been completed, but this step can occasionally be forgotten when activities like a post ride beverage and/or nap takes precedence.
Transportation needs — Many individuals are responsible for transportation needs beyond their own: family members’, friends’, co-workers’, etc. This limits some employees from participating in traditional commuter incentive programming.
- Modern bike benefits programs go beyond bike-to-work and include incentives for any trips made by bike.
Organizations have an amazing opportunity to improve work culture using bikes. This case study shows many examples of how a bike benefits program can thrive in a corporate environment and is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to overall program impact. Whether your organization is pursuing carbon neutrality, employee engagement and wellness, recruitment opportunities or just trying to make your office more fun, a bike benefits program is a low-cost, easily implemented solution to many company goals.