Think Outside of the Box for Benefit Offerings

Unfortunately, during tough economic times, organizations often need to improve their bottom line by making cuts, whether it is in the form of positions, pay or benefits. While these dreaded steps may be necessary for many organizations, it leaves employees feeling like they are giving more than taking and has them wondering what’s next.

At TowerPinkster, we offer our human resource department as a benefit and believe that all companies should consider this as an option. The Firm believes that team members are its clients and will do whatever it takes to allow them to be focused on project work, in turn creating a more efficient work team. Tasks often performed by TowerPinksters’ Human Resource department include items that most other human resource departments historically would not consider getting involved with such as, researching problem medical bills and/or contacting service providers to obtain billing documents to submit a request for reimbursement on behalf of the employee. Team members have a sense of security knowing that their confidential matters are being taken care of and that provides both the team member and their family peace of mind. (Of course, appropriate releases must be signed to provide this type of service to employees.)

In a robust economy, we all face ongoing challenges in recruitment and retention; organizations are always looking outside the box for new benefits to offer their associates. The level of customer service that your organization is able to provide can be very unique and considered to be a significant benefit. Consider offering a version of concierge services offered by large organizations -” minus the $200,000 price tag. TowerPinkster offers its own version of concierge services, which includes dry cleaning, car detailing and service, floral, postal, shipping services, notary services, animal care, corporate discounts, special research projects, and scheduling appointments/vacations, to name a few. If a team member needs assistance with anything, they just send an e-mail or call human resources and the request is handled. Every human resource department’s ultimate goal should be a cohesive work-life balance for their team members.

Your HR department may want to consider expanding its services beyond employees and offer services to their families as well. Consider it business as usual when you are asked to prepare a resume for a team member’s recently displaced spouse. Your human resource department could not only create the resume, they could make employment contacts, monitor classified ads/Web sites and distribute information to assist in restoring gainful employment as soon as possible. Expand your organization’s offerings and convey how important your team members are to your organization, they will feel as if they have their own personal assistant with a “What can I do for you?” attitude. If you show that you care about them and are committed, your team members will be more inclined to care about and be committed to your organization.

Of course, this level of customer service comes at a price; with this “out of the box” option, the cost is man hours, but your “championship” team members are worth every penny and the culture that this benefit fosters is well worth your investment. Get as involved as your team members would like, make them feel important and remember that the success or failure of any organization lies within its people and without your unique talent, you would just be another faceless organization in the sea of millions.

Dawn Chapman is the human resource specialist at TowerPinkster, a full-service architectural/engineering firm in West Michigan. TowerPinskter was one of West Michigan’s 101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For in 2009 as well as listed as one of ZweigWhite Best Firms to Work For. Chapman can be reached at [email protected].