Incentives to Encourage Cycling

Given the multitude of benefits the use of cycling confer upon the relevant individuals and on the environment as a whole, there is a dire need that employers do not just suggest the use of bicycles but also encourage it. They can do so in different ways, which could either be in form of payments or other incentives.

While cycling is economically friendly, it is not by any means free of cost. If employers could compensate its workforce for the cost of using a bicycle, which would the cost of wear and tear, it would act as a source of encouragement for the workforce to take up cycling. The Government of the UK has an allowance of 20p per mile, which is an example of initiative that individual employers can take and further the use of bicycles amongst its employees. Employers can set their own rates, and let their employees know that their efforts are anything but foregone. However, if employers choose not to go ahead with this policy, an alternative route could be to resort to rewarding employees in other areas. For instance, an employer could encourage the use of bicycles by rewarding all those who ride a bicycle to work with extra 10 minutes of time off.

Another way of encouraging the use of bicycles is by allowing the employees a chance to use bicycles for their on-site work. Employers can buy bicycles and allow the employees to use them to travel from one place to another, within the premises of the business. This especially goes out with employers which have large premises, as this usually means that employees frequently travel long distances within the workplace. For this tactic to be effective, the employer must get hold of bicycles that are not just generally comfortable to use, but also fit the needs of the workforce. This is would involve bicycles that are fit for different heights and weights of the employees. The key is to make sure that the employees have a delightful experience, which is what would induce them into joining the initiative and getting their own bikes.

Moving on, one hurdle in the way of employees embracing cycling could be the cost of buying a bicycle. If this is the issue, the employer should not hesitate one bit from offering loans to its employees, in order to enable them to reduce this financial burden. The Inland Revenue allows employers to offer their employees loans up to £5,000, which are either interest-free or low-interest. However, if the hurdle is not economic, but the fact that many of the employees are out-of-practice, the right approach would be to offer cycling training. This would allow those with lack of practice to build up their confidence and not be intimidated. In addition, the employer should also ensure that the workforce is aware of the fact that if somehow they are unable to ride their bicycle back home, perhaps due to working late or being too tired, their ride back home will be adequately arranged.

These are some of many steps that could encourage employees into embracing cycling and move away from the tradition of riding their motor vehicles to work. The key resides in first, getting to the root of what it is that is deterring the workforce from switching to cycling and then, simply eliminating or alleviating the problem. This change may not be easy for most, and thus, it is the employer’s job to ensure that the transition is smooth.