The Engine Group has run a series of safe cycling in London workshops to help staff feel confident on a bike and take-up cycling to work.
When advertising agency The Engine Group first brought in a cycle-to-work scheme in 2011, it was one of the few benefits that was rolled out across its various businesses. "Initially we used to put posters up and an email would go out saying the window was open, but that was about it," recalls benefits manager Brenda Boateng.
There was an initial surge to take up the scheme but it was only when the group moved it into its broader benefits package, run by Thomsons Online Benefits, that the business looked to really push it to staff.
It invited local retailers to come into the offices and show people bikes and various bits of kit prior to a window opening, as well as bringing in Dr Bike to run Safe Cycling in London seminars and check over all bikes for safety four times a year. "If we're having any fitness initiatives we would link it to that, and for Red Nose Day we had cycling in the foyer where we reminded people they can take part in the scheme," adds Boateng.
When the business moved offices in 2012, it also made sure it included 200 bike-storage racks inside the new building to cope with demand from all cyclists. "All of these are used and there is a waiting list for them," says Boateng. "We also have showers on-site and lockers to put equipment in."
The Engine Group has also been careful to explain the benefits of the scheme to people in a way that would suit their individual circumstances.
"One of our companies is a really young social media business, and people there are probably looking for an affordable bike so we would promote the fact they don't have to use the full amount of money, and that it is spread over the course of the year," says Boateng. "Then we've got some older people who are looking for a better bike, and there we use the fact that they can use the full amount as part-payment."
These efforts collectively have paid off; the business has had 118 people take up the scheme since it first launched, out of a workforce of around 750.
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