You Get What You Pay For

You Get What You Pay For

workplace happiness lake business magazine akers media group lake county florida

You probably don’t want to post this on the company bulletin board.

You should, however, keep this article in a locked drawer and refer to it whenever a disgruntled employee sounds off or you lose a top producer to a rival.

Boss, you’re not going to like to hear this, but you’re probably not spending enough money to foster a happy workplace.

“It’s expensive to have a positive company culture. It really is,” said Ken LaRoe, president of First Green Bank in Mount Dora, where the benefits are “exhaustive” and the minimum salary is $30,000 (almost all tellers got raises when the policy was implemented in October).

First Green Bank employees receive:

• Complimentary use of a hybrid loaner vehicle for any purpose, personal or business

• 100 percent medical, dental and vision premiums paid

• 401k with 100 percent employer matching up to 6 percent and no vesting period

• 100 percent life insurance, AD&D, disability (short and long-term) premiums paid

• Paid sabbatical for any social mission

• Employer sponsored wellness benefits

• Reimbursement up to $500 annually of athletic competition entry fees

• Complimentary healthy organic snacks and beverages

• Cash incentives to purchase hybrid vehicles

• 0 percent financing on hybrid vehicles

Incredible, right? And that’s not everything.

You’re surely asking, “How can a business provide so many benefits?”

“It’s expensive,” LaRoe said. “But I feel like it’s a cost of doing business. I feel like we have to do it. Hopefully, it pays for itself in employee satisfaction and increased productivity.”

Those areas admittedly are hard to measure, but turnover is easy to track. And it’s practically non-existent at First Green Bank. LaRoe spends very little money on advertising positions and training new employees.

Instead, he spends those saved dollars on fostering a happy, vibrant atmosphere where people enjoy their jobs.

“It sounds so simple, but providing a living wage is the single most important thing you can do. It sends the message, ‘These people really care about me,’” LaRoe said.

But what if you can’t increase wages or add benefits? Is a positive company culture still attainable?

“Do something,” LaRoe advises. “In a lot of situations, especially in the service industry, there are no benefits. Regardless of what your business is, at least offer paid vacation. At least help with medical benefits.”