A Relocation Does Not Have To Mean Losing Employees
Corporate relocations are a staple in today’s work environment – with many companies opting to relocate for costs, consolidation and convenience reasons. How does an organization hold on to existing employees when it moves? Relocations typically cause changes in commuting for many employees. And, if new commuting distances become excessive, how does an organization ease the transition?
Unilever Home and Personal Care U.S.A relocated 500 employees to its Trumbull corporate campus location from Greenwich, CT, as it completed a new $20 million, 72,000-square-foot Global Innovation Center next to the company's existing 100,000-square-foot building, 35 miles from the Greenwich location.
In order to comfortably assist their employees in finding viable commuting options to Trumbull, Unilever consulted MetroPool. On behalf of ConnDOT, MetroPool worked with management to plan the optimum commuting solution for employees.
"Relocations force companies to examine how they intend to hold on to their most valued resource, their work force. At MetroPool, we have field staff that assists companies in making these decisions on a daily basis," said John Lyons, President and CEO of MetroPool. "The Connecticut DOT offers a menu of commuting solutions that can make a corporate relocation almost seamless."
MetroPool’s solution for Unilever was the introduction of vanpooling. Currently two vanpools travel over the Tappan Zee Bridge as well as the George Washington Bridge. The vanpools offer an alternative to driving alone and mass transit, which would require a number of transfers for many employees who reside in New York.
Vanpools proved to be cost effective and promoted camaraderie. The vanpool commute is one hour each way and allows the employees to read comfortably without dealing with the daily rigors of driving from New York to Connecticut.
"I share the sentiments of our vanpoolers’ group: 'it’s better than driving alone and is a huge savings to commuters.' It is a great program and I would encourage others to join," Nick Agrawal said.
MetroPool is currently introducing other commuting programs to assist in Unilever’s relocation plans. Services currently being introduced to Unilever include NuRide and Commuter Tax Benefit. NuRide is an online ridesharing network that rewards riders for sharing the ride. The Commuter Tax Benefit program, which the Connecticut Department of Transportation promotes, offers substantial savings for both employers and commuters. Commuter Tax Benefit works like other salary-deduction programs, in that the benefit is pre-tax, and is as easy to implement as it is to use.