Last month, the District Department of Transportation handed out a series of awards to companies and organizations that supported the use of biking, walking, and public transportation. The goDCgo Employer Ambassador Awards highlighted nine employers for their “exceptional commitment to sustainable transportation.”
FiscalNote, a Washington, D.C.-based company that uses technology to connect organizations with governments, received the Capital Bikeshare Corporate Member Award. This award is set aside for an employer that encourages high participation in Capital Bikeshare among its workers.
DC Commute Times interviewed Christina Molzen, vice president of people with FiscalNote, to get details on the company’s commuter-friendly policies.
Let’s start by learning a little bit about FiscalNote. What do you do, and how many people do you employ?
FiscalNote is a fast-growing technology company headquartered in Washington, D.C., with other offices in New York and Baton Rouge. We have 150 U.S. based employees and have recently expanded into Europe. Our company’s mission is to connect organizations around the world to their governments.
My role as the VP of People is to oversee our entire People function. That includes areas such as: recruitment, benefits, performance management, and learning and development.
Recently, the DC Department of Transportation honored FiscalNote with its Capital Bikeshare Corporate Member Award. It noted that 54 percent of your workers use Capital Bikeshare. Could you outline for us how your company and its employees use Capital Bikeshare?
It is a great benefit we are excited to offer our employees! FiscalNoters enjoy Capital Bikeshare’s affordability, convenience and the added fun aspect of biking in our scenic area. Our employees use Capital Bikeshare as a means of daily commuting to our office or potentially to run a quick errand at lunch. Our office is also located within six Capital Bikeshare locations, which is added convenience.
Why did FiscalNote decide to join the Capital Bikeshare Corporate Membership Program?
Our decision to join came from all levels of FiscalNote. Our employees expressed their desire to have flexibility in their commuter options to overcome the hassle that can sometimes come with commuting in DC. The business recognized this and wanted to provide support. We also felt joining would contribute to our overall Health and Wellness initiative currently being managed by our People Development Manager, Scott Ryan. And of course, we saw an added benefit in providing a greener commuting option for our employees.
In what other ways does FiscalNote make it easy for people to bike to work? For example, do workers have access to locker rooms and showers?
We recently moved into a brand-new office on Pennsylvania Ave. When we were evaluating our new office space, part of our goal was to ensure we would still be in a space that promoted a bike-friendly environment. Our facility is equipped with lockers and showers for all our employees to use. There is also a secured part of the building where employees can store their bike and any necessary equipment.
In what ways does FiscalNote benefit from having its employees bike to work whenever possible?
We see many benefits to our employees biking to work. Many employees live within a close enough range where they are able to beat the hassle of driving through traffic or taking the metro to the office. Not having to deal with commuting issues has allowed many FiscalNoters to focus more on their job rather than having to worry about their commutes.
Not everyone can bike to work. So, what other commuter-friendly policies does FiscalNote have in place?
For employees who do not live within biking distance of the office, FiscalNote also provides a stipend to be applied to a parking or metro benefit. We also recognize an employee’s commuting habits evolve, so we do allow for commuter benefits to be changed when needed. We continually evaluate other commuter offerings we can provide based on feedback we hear from our employees.
Have your commuter-friendly policies come at the request of employees? Or was this a more top-down effort?
Both our employees and management influenced the commuter benefits we offer. Employees expressed their desire for flexible options and the business recognized the benefit in empowering our employees with more choices.
In what ways have you seen these commuter-friendly policies have a positive impact on employee recruitment and retention?
Our commuter policies have allowed us to recruit talent across demographics and areas of the DMV. We do not want commuting to be a reason for a future employee to not join us or for a current employee to have to leave. As mentioned, employees can choose from a range of commuter benefit options and can easily change their benefit when needed. We are able to accommodate employees who live close or those that may live further out. We’ve also found that offering this benefit has built a sense of community for employees who are passionate about going green, fitness, and biking in general.
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