Adrian Bewley's blog: Efficiency and wellbeing go hand in hand
03 March 2017
Providing better options for how companies keep employees mobile is an exercise in number-crunching: mileage analysis, cost savings, emissions reductions and rental days. Operational efficiencies are highly measurable.
What's much harder to ascertain is the positive impact of new solutions on employees. How do you measure employee satisfaction, wellbeing - or even happiness - arising from a new programme? Ideally, the same processes that bring efficiency should also result in happier employees.
Reducing reliance on the grey fleet, for example, creates efficiencies and reduces risk. But it also brings 'soft' benefits. Employees no longer need to rack up business mileage in their own cars and don't have to wait to be reimbursed. They don't have to worry about bringing their car into work and about parking it.
They can have access to a vehicle that's fit for purpose whenever they need it. They often enjoy driving newer daily rental and car club vehicles - or trying out an electric car if one is available at their location.
When drivers break down, a replacement vehicle can be authorised quickly and delivered from a local branch. To do this efficiently, there must be better communication links between the rental firm, insurer, body shop and breakdown company - something we've been working at as an industry. It means drivers spend less downtime stressing out by the side of a road or at a repairer's office.
A successful employee business mobility programme has to recognise and acknowledge these emotional and behavioural aspects. If a business is efficiently supported, it helps employees to feel supported by the business as well.
And a well-planned strategy for providing mobility options to those employees with occasional travel needs means they can conveniently access transport without distractions or hassle.
Many organisations tell us that the grey fleet became the de facto choice because it's easy. Some even tell us that for some employees it feels like a supplementary income stream. So fleets keen to move away from mileage reimbursement might even believe they have to 'battle' against employees.
That's why if you're considering bringing in a car club, it's important to take the time to explain to employees why it's good for them as much as for you. Key points include that it's better for the environment, it means they don't have to fight over parking spaces at the office and it's really easy to book.
However, our experience is that employees like companies to provide them with options to support their business needs and reduce hassle. Mobility providers need to be nimble and efficient enough to do so. It can have a direct impact on wellbeing and also, ultimately, on happiness at work.
Adrian Bewley is director of business rental at Enterprise Rent-A-Car