5 minute read 21 Sep 2021

Segment your diverse workforce into personae by understanding the main drivers of their mobility behaviour.

How are you onboarding your employees in your green mobility policy?

By Hendrik Serruys

EY Belgium People Advisory Services Partner

Creative mind and out-of-the-box thinker. Solution-driven and passionate business partner. Addicted to new technologies. Love to wine and dine.

5 minute read 21 Sep 2021

Segment your diverse workforce into personae by understanding the main drivers of their mobility behaviour.

In brief

  • Design your offer to the needs of the different personae
  • Tailor your communication to spark inspiration and win the hearts and minds  of your employees
  • Identify ambassadors to boost adoption

In light of the European Mobility Week (16 – 22 September 2021) our dedicated teams share their inspiring learnings and refreshing insights. Make sure to check-in regularly for all the latest articles and prepare for your own mobility of the future.

When organizations offer a company car to their employees, they not only provide them with a salary in kind, it often becomes an integral part of their private life. For example as a way to get family life organized or as a token of prestige. Therefore, in the journey of redesigning their mobility strategy it is important for companies to connect with their employees both on a professional or rational level as well as on a personal or emotional level. Just as if they would be selling a service to a client. Only then will they be able to trigger a positive change in their employees’ mindset, which is a crucial factor for a successful transformation towards greener mobility solutions.

A good technique to get a deep understanding of both the rational and emotional drivers of employees comes from the world of user experience design, called personae.

Why do you need to know your company’s personae?

Personae are fictional characters that represent like-minded segments in your workforce. They will help you understand the particular needs, drivers and behaviours of a diverse workforce relating to mobility.

Moreover, if done well, your employees will be able to identify themselves with these personae. This is a crucial step. Most employees support the idea of a more sustainable mobility, in fact they even expect their employer to lead by example and pave the way. However, when put in practice, they will find a million reasons not to change their current mobility habits. They will come up with arguments to block and not to change, rather than seeing the opportunities.

Yet, by sharing inspirational stories about new and alternative mobility solutions by people your employees can relate to directly, they will in turn better relate to the situation and the need for a new and improved mobility policy. This will make the step to change considerably smaller to take.

How do you identify the different personae?

Data, data and more data. It is crucial to collect data from different sources when trying to cluster your employees. This is because an employee's personal situation, their needs and their preferences are the result of a combination of various clusters. As far as mobility choices are concerned, socio-demographic details are one of the key drivers. Our private lives are immediately and enormously affected by the mobility choices we make. And vice-versa we make certain mobility choices out of very personal considerations, whether we do or don’t have children, how old these children are etc. These socio-demographic characteristics will drive our different choices regarding our commuting behaviour and preferred way of travel.

The place of residence and the localization of the workforce and the companies' premises is a second key driver of commuting behaviour. For example, employees who have easy access to public transport or shared mobility services are more likely to replace their company car for a train subscription or an electric step. On the other hand, employees living further from the office or with less access to public transport alternatives might prefer to keep their company car as primary means of transportation.

Multiple other parameters contribute to an individual's needs regarding their mobility preferences and behaviour. One’s individual mobility budget might be a quantifiable parameter but one’s character is not. However, whether you are open-minded or conservative, the adventurous type or more laid back, also help to identify you as one or another personae. This data can be collected via surveys sent out to the employees that inquire into their background and preferences and can be supplemented with deeper insights by organizing focus groups workshops.


Types of personae

In your company, you will find different personae, but two particular types of personae are of specific interest for your organization with regards to changing mobility behaviour.

First, we have the early adopters. Early adopters are ahead of the pack, interested in new technology and proud to make progressive choices and contribute to a green and sustainable mobility plan.

Secondly, there are the so-called alternators, often found in city centres, who are open to new alternatives to the company car. An alternator enjoys flexibility, variation and thus the choice between different means of transportation. They are in favour of the new shared mobility services and are convinced that commuting time should be pleasant.

These two groups are often people that are already using mobility solutions that fit a green mobility policy. Therefore, they can play an important role in helping you understand practical challenges they experience, but also act as ambassadors for your new policy. As to the latter, it remains nevertheless important to also identify ambassadors in your other segments. As mentioned, when your employees cannot connect with personae or the ambassadors representing them (e.g. if you would only select early adopters), they will discard the new policy as “not for me” and disengage or get frustrated.


To drive successful adoption on your new green mobility policy, you cannot just plug and pray. Just like a service provider, you will have to understand the needs of your clients, get them to connect with your product and use brand ambassadors to boost the adoption. Although it will take extra effort to create personae, it will give you valuable insights and provide your employees with an inspirational story they can relate to.

Our next article will share more insights on the electrification process of companies’ car fleets while clarifying several tricky questions about charging stations and their installation process on organizations’ premises and in employees' homes.

Newsletters EY Belgium

Subscribe to one of our newsletters and stay up to date of our latest news, insights, events or more. 



Today, companies aim to reduce their CO2 emissions by 25-40% in the short term. To achieve this ambitious goal, companies will also have to reduce the CO2 impact of their commuting workforce, especially for the employees that commute by way of company car. As this will not only require a change in policy, but even more a change in the mindset of the employees, this article shares insights on how to use customer experience techniques to accelerate the adoption of a newly designed green mobility policy.

About this article

By Hendrik Serruys

EY Belgium People Advisory Services Partner

Creative mind and out-of-the-box thinker. Solution-driven and passionate business partner. Addicted to new technologies. Love to wine and dine.