Employers invest in workplace culture, benefits

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Friday, August 16, 2019

When it comes to attracting and retaining employees, companies are creating a place people want to work, rather than simply collect a paycheck, they say.

“Our focus is on creating work-life balance,” said Marshall Staton, human resources director at Asheville, N.C.-based Aeroflow Healthcare. “I think there’s a lot of things companies do that often feel right, but at the end of the day, don’t make much difference in people’s lives.”

With that in mind, Aeroflow, which is heavily involved in its community, offers its employees paid community service days, in addition to traditional benefits like health and dental insurance, paid time off, 401ks and maternity leave, Staton says.

“Employees are basically paid to go volunteer somewhere they have a connection to,” he said.

Give employees a voice

For CareCentrix, employee feedback is central to creating a good work environment. The benefits management company has created a Voice of the Employee committee to gather input on everything from baseball outings to efforts aimed at helping employees going through a tough time, such as a health crisis or weather disasters, said Laizer Kornwasser, president/COO.

“The goal is to make sure we are doing what the employees would enjoy so we are investing resources on what matters,” he said. “It’s OK to hold employees accountable, but we want them to know we care.”

Be an open book

For Aeroflow, which has been on a rapid growth track, the provider has also sought to offer transparency into how the company is performing, said Staton.

“We recently started doing something called ‘open book’ financial management to show how we are reinvesting in the company” he said. “We also have quarterly town halls with the CEO where we share what’s going on and where employees share what’s going on at the front lines.”

Play the long game

Taking care of employees is not only the right thing to do, it is good business sense, says Kornwasser.

“I want to have long-term happy employees instead of short-term unhappy employees,” he said. “When you are looking long-term, you invest for the long-term. You have fewer new people on the job, you are able to tap into that wealth of knowledge, and it’s easier to provide superior service to the patients.”