Can providing Lifestyle Benefits compensate for artificially inflated cost of living?
When inflation soars & cost of living artificially skyrockets overnight, we do our level best to give our employees what they need to sustain the current cost of living. But as a company, we’d be ill-advised to raise wages any time inflation spikes. In a job market saturated by ridiculous “sign-on incentives” & high pay entry-level positions, how does a small/medium business effectively & efficiently, attain & retain employees, without being beholden to artificial wage spikes? Here’s what we found…
We realized that our employee’s well-being isn’t limited to bills paid, but also, pursuing balance in all aspects of life. So how do we connect the two? That’s when it clicked! We can supplement our employee’s income by offering pre-paid, extra-curricular programs, focused on relieving the financial burden attached to enjoying life outside of work (the reason we all go to work in the first place, right?).
We can not only encourage employees to learn a new skill, hone a talent, challenge themselves or motivate others, but provide them a means to do so. Affording them the opportunity to improve their mental and physical health, where their current wage may not otherwise allow it.
Solution, our “Employee Enrichment Program”, or “EEP” for short.
Current Programs include:
Kettle Bell Fitness Training Ignition Fitness with Mike Visscher - 3/1hr classes per week
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Training Gracie Barra with Carlos Gracie Jr. - 3/1hr classes per week
SDI Open Water Scuba Certification - 5 Weekend Classes & Certification Test
Employee Appreciation Days - Quarterly half-days with provided food, games & prizes
Company Holiday Celebrations Food, Gifts & Games
Company Camping Trips Local Family Friendly Camping
Our solution is much more cost effective than traditional supplemental programs. EEP’s help to off-set living expenses for our employees, keeping them motivated & productive, while ultimately having little impact on our product prices, keeping our customers loyal & spending. When things settle back down, & cost-of-living returns to more sustainable levels, we haven’t unwisely established an artificial wage precedence that no longer parallels the current market. It’s a win-win!
We have witnessed first-hand, the effects on morale & positivity, allowing for improved collaboration between peers & departments. Many of our employees have found new bonds & strengthened old ones, while growing together in their shared interests. Employees that have taken advantage of these programs have expressed extreme gratitude, & excitement for the next challenge, even making suggestions for future programs.
It’s impossible to predict every curve ball that gets thrown your way as a business, & who thought we’d ever see this pitch? But complicated problems require innovative solutions. So, have we succeeded in our goal of offering competitive wage alternatives to attain and retain employees? Only time will tell. But this idea is just one, amongst many, "low cost/high reward” solutions we have implemented. This is just a small part of what we are tasked with as small businesses, to constantly find new ways to keep the machine running on full power.
Our employees give so much for the betterment of the company, and by providing sustainability, reliability, compassion, and opportunity, we hope to establish longevity in our culture of strength in mind, body, and spirit, as the foundation to the success of our company & every member of our team.