Want happy employees? Promote public transportation

Help the environment and help your employees out at the pump by encouraging them not to go to the pump at all. Some U.S. employers are starting to offer employee incentives for using public transportation instead of driving to work.

In Miami, where I-95 is jam-packed with cars almost 24 hours a day, companies are telling employees to take the train. The city of North Miami is offering large discounts to employees who buy passes for the commuter rail. A month pass that would normally cost $75 is now only $15.

The initiative, part of the Miami-Dade Transit Corporate Incentive Program, hopes to reduce toxic emissions and help ease the pain at the gas pump. About 9,000 people have already signed up.

If your employees live in a city where public transportation is limited or employees are uncomfortable using public services, encourage carpooling. You can offer incentives to carpooling in the same way you would subsidize public transit costs. Christian Mullins at Credit Union Potential has devised a framework and formula to follow when calculating car pool subsidies.

According to Mullins, offering an incentive program to use public transportation or carpooling will help employees manage gas prices and establish your company as an environmental activist.

Studies have shown that employees are happier when working for environmentally-friendly companies. Even if they don’t act on your offer, they’ll appreciate it.

The Chief Happiness Officer, Alexander Kjerulf, is also a believer that promoting a “green” workplace makes for happier employees. Here are his five reasons why “going green” creates happy and more profitable companies:

  1. It’s the right thing to do.
  2. You’re making a positive difference.
  3. It boosts employee engagement and encourages personal action.
  4. It creates a stronger bond with the company.
  5. It gives everyone a sense of pride.


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