Lyft’s Corporate Employee Experience To Include Working as a Lyft Driver

(Bick Bhangoo) #1

It appears that someone at [Lyft]( is channeling Atticus Finch in To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee when he said, "If you can learn a simple trick, Scout, you'll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it."

All eligible corporate employees will from now on be required to spend some time as Lyft drivers.

Executives moonlighting as drivers is not something new at Lyft. CEO Logan Green and President John Zimmer have been known to get behind the wheel every now and again. Below is a picture of Lyft President John Zimmer taking a selfie with passengers on one such occasion.

The latest executive to add her name to this list is Melissa Waters. Waters is vice president of marketing at Lyft. She wanted to drive a mile in a Lyft driver's role to get a first-hand experience of what their job is really like.

It was an eye-opening experience she reports. She was ready for the usual experience of picking up and dropping off rideshare users but was caught off guard when she bonded with a rider or met someone interesting.

She concluded and rightly so that being a rideshare driver is harder than it looks. Especially because you have to learn how to navigate the different personalities you encounter on every shift.

This new requirement will be rolled out to the company's 2,000-plus current corporate employees and incoming new hires going forward. They will be required to spend at least four hours every three quarter behind the wheel experiencing a day in a life of a Lyft driver. That time can be spent staffing driver-support calls, working in one of Lyft's driver hubs or being a Lyft driver.

This change comes at a time when Lyft is benefiting from their main competitor's scandals. Uber had the rideshare market cornered until earlier this year when scandal after scandal created an opportunity for other rideshare companies to pick up riders who were put off by the scandals.

From January to October, Lyft said, it gave 500 million rides. More than all their rides in the previous four years combined. Confirming once again that one man's meat is another man's poison.

This change also joins others such as 24/7 phone support, faster online assistance, and Spanish language support that Lyft has rolled out for its drivers in a bid to capitalize on the image of being seen as the nicer, friendlier ride-hailing company that listens to their drivers.

The goal of this latest change is to have all Lyft employees better understand what drivers go through. Waters said "We really look at it as a virtuous cycle. When you have great drivers and happy passengers, it all feeds back into each other."