WeAt one of my employers, we were seeing a significant drop off of new hires. We would find a great fit, and then they would just stop showing up after a week or two. We figured out the primary reason for many of these cases wasn't that they didn't like the job, but that they lost their transportation.
We took an innovative approach to supporting employee’s transportation needs. We did not have a bus route close to our location. As a result, many of our associates relied on rides from families and friends. New hires were not able to afford to purchase a vehicle or gas until after their first paycheck. I found out that one kind-hearted community member was getting up at 4AM to carpool 5 employees to our location!
I've been in that boat before... Trying to figure out whether to put $5 of gas in the car or food in my stomach. It's not a good place to be, and it hurt me to think our employees were making that decision. The biggest challenge was for new hires. They didn't get a paycheck until two weeks on the job, so there was a gap in cashflow until they received their first payday.
We decided to take action. We partnered with a local taxi agency called "The Loop". We worked with the taxi company and came up with a program that supported the new hires who needed financial support until they could afford to pay for gas or transportation. These new hires received a pass that allowed them to use the local taxi company services for their first few weeks of employment until they received a paycheck.
We spent some money up front. Yes, this was a business expense, but it cost less than a background check and drug screen, and we were losing so many new hires, this expense was a no regrets decision.
Some of the other actions that were taken were advocating with the local city to ensure that a bus route was put near our location. We also adjusted start times so that it was easier for employees to carpool to work together and to catch the bus in time.
The results of this program were that new hires felt more supported, as they were starting with an organization. This prompted a very high word of mouth referral rate for new hires and ensured that the new hires that they invested time and resources into hiring for the organization, stuck around beyond the first few weeks of employment.
The new hire turnover rate dropped, and the morale improved.
At the end of the day, we cared out our employees, and that focus on their experience paid dividends.
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