Today is our monthly CHAT (Communicate, Educate & Train) meeting at J&J Vending, where our full team will gather for street tacos and a presentation from Allstate on new employee benefits offered to J&J Vending employees.
In addition to the full medical and dental coverage already received, employees will now have:
Disability and home accident coverage
Heart attack and stroke coverage
In total these additional benefits average out to about $3 an hour on top their hourly pay.
I’m sharing this because I’m unashamedly bragging on my family’s business and I’m hoping that by doing so you’ll feel free to brag a little on yourself too.
When my parents and I met with our Allstate team (whom we LOVE) to learn about these additional benefits I walked away from the meeting with two main thoughts:
J&J Vending is an awesome company to work for – in addition to paying the most competitive wage in our area (for our industry) we were also told that paying full medical and dental is almost unheard of these days
It’s okay to be proud of #1 and to openly brag about it, in fact, it’s necessary. According to our Allstate agent “people need to hear how awesome it is, they need to know it’s not something they can get elsewhere.” In short, if they don’t know about it, they can’t be excited about it, and for all kinds of reason including employee engagement, employees need to be excited about the opportunities their job affords them, about what their employer does for them.
When Ryan and I first moved in together, we fought A LOT about household responsibilities, each of us questioning what the other did around the house and more notably, what they didn’t do.
When it comes to household tasks Ryan is far more detail orientated than I am and I’m much bigger picture than he is. In other words, I’d come home on a Thursday or Friday (his days off) and wonder why the laundry hadn’t been done or why errands for the week hadn’t been completed not noticing that the French butter dish had been cleaned and refilled, the shower had been cleaned and the refrigerator organized. In the same way, he’d come home on a Sunday and wonder why I hadn’t cleaned out the coffee grinder, not noticing that laundry was folded, grocery shopping as complete, etc.
Because we prioritize differently we weren’t naturally grateful for things we couldn’t see but we were naturally critical. To fix this we started sending each other lists of what we’d done while the other was away, drawing attention to what we were proud of accomplishing rather than any perceived shortcomings.
With employees the same must be true. Prior to now, we educated employees on the benefits they receive when they were hired and very rarely spoke of them again.
Starting today we will proactively (dare I say, aggressively) advertise the benefits J&J offers. It may be awkward to sing your own praises but in a market where it’s getting harder and harder to hire quality employees, it’s a necessary discomfort for the greater good.
Sing loud, be proud, I give you full permission to brag, your excitement will be contagious!
A Few Extra Employee Benefit Tips:
1. Understand the demographics of your workforce - taking employee demographics into account is a key factor in choosing benefits employees will be excited about. For instance, we chose the home accident policy because it covers sport related injuries. About half of our crew plays softball and soccer in their off time, now if they are injured on the field, they're covered.
2. I cannot stress enough how excited we are about the home accident coverage. We have had a lot of employees get injured on the field on a Sunday, come to work on a Monday and file a Worker's Comp claim that day. By offering this benefit, we're making it easier for employees to be honest. Plus, with Allstate they will get more coverage than with Worker's Comp, so it really is a win for all involved as well as a catalyst to change employee culture.
3. Have your provider come in for a presentation. Having a third party brag on your company is a little more inspiring/believable than you singing your own praises and it helps to have a professional explain these benefits in a very understandable, straight forward way.
4. In addition to improving your company culture and employee engagement, benefits are a great way to help on tax day. As far as J&J is concerned we'd rather give more money to our employees than pay more in taxes. If you think you can't afford it, I would encourage you to take a closer look.