How to engage people on two wheels
5 min read
As the UK government starts easing the rules on lockdown and more people start heading back to offices, stores and sites, we have seen a huge increase in the number of people who want to start cycling to work. It’s great to know that so many employees will be improving their physical and mental wellbeing, while also avoiding busier trains and buses, by participating in Cycle to Work schemes.
Whether you already have a cycling benefit in place for your employees, or you’re thinking of starting a new Cycle to Work scheme for your people, knowing how to make it a success is critical to the ongoing engagement across your organisation. Here are a few things I would suggest top the list of your priorities to guarantee a positive experience for your employees:
1. Get to know your scheme
Since Cycle to Work is a salary sacrifice benefit, it’s not unusual for employees to have more questions about it when compared to their other benefits, including how much they will save, how the repayments work and what happens at the end of the hire period.
When you launch a Cycle to Work hub with Reward Gateway, you’ll also have access to the supporting materials within the platform, which contain lots of information and detailed FAQs to help employees. But, it’s important that your team understands how this benefit works, too, so that they can answer any questions from your people.
Take the time to read through the FAQs and of course, if you have any questions left, your provider should be there to support you with answers or new ideas to communicate your scheme with employees.
2. Tailor your messages to different audiences
Don’t get caught up in who you think will use your benefit. We’ve seen a variety of demographics benefit from a Cycle to Work scheme, including older employees and women.
It’s important that you make sure your communications and any imagery you use reflects this and doesn’t alienate any potential new cyclists.
You’ll also have a mix of brand new cyclists, those who already cycle but might want to get a new bike and seasoned cyclists who already cycle to work and have a bike they love.
Cycle to Work can still benefit everyone, as you’re also able to get new cycling gear and safety equipment and spread the cost using the scheme.
So, think about your audiences and tailor your messages to these different groups accordingly. For example, new cyclists might also need more information about where they can safely lock up their bikes at work, or need more support on finding good cycle routes to your main locations - these will be really valuable communications which could help an employee to gain the confidence to give cycling a go.
3. Link it to your employee wellbeing and sustainability strategies
Cycle to Work is a great benefit to help improve employee wellbeing. We know that cycling is great for physical health, but it’s also a fantastic way for people to improve their mental wellbeing, too. Make sure that Cycle to Work forms part of your employee wellbeing strategy and ties into any communications that you share about wellbeing and health.
Another interesting angle to take on Cycle to Work is making it a core part of your sustainability strategy.
With more employees cycling to work you will be cutting your carbon footprint as a business, so make sure you report on it and celebrate the people who are doing their part to help the environment, too.
One of my favourite examples is how one of our clients, ENGIE, links up with its Responsibility team to promote and encourage Cycle to Work. As a leading service, business energy and regeneration company, ENGIE has a bold ‘Zero Carbon’ target and sustainability is central to the business. Every year, it holds an Annual Bike Ride to raise awareness and money for charity.
Promoting its Cycle to Work scheme before this annual event is key to getting more employees to get involved and starting a healthier and more sustainable commute, too.
4. Build a sense of community among cyclists
If you already have some expert cyclists among your employees then these people are a perfect place to start. Many cyclists are very passionate about it and often want to support and encourage others to get on two wheels, too. Think about how you can work with these people to build a community, answer any questions about cycling or point out those all-important bike racks and cycling routes.
Consider whether you can create a dedicated online space or social media group for your cyclists so that they can share tips, anecdotes and cycling challenges. It’s a great way to connect people across your organisation, too.
For example, one of our own avid cyclists pulled together a quick 'how to' video that our clients can use on their hubs to guide cyclists on how to fix a bicycle puncture:
And we have several from our partner, Halfords, that detail more safety and maintenance tips.
When it’s OK to get people back together in smaller groups, you could even offer a free breakfast once a month to those who cycle in. This is another way to build a sense of community and also celebrate those who are working on their physical and mental wellbeing, while keeping their carbon footprint down at the same time.
Looking to launch a Cycle to Work scheme? Reach out to one of my colleagues for more information and we’ll be happy to help: