We all have chores and errands in our personal lives. Thinking about them, arranging them, and doing them often take time away from our business day.
It’s well known that many large tech companies, such as Google and Facebook, help employees handle their personal chores (oil changes, dry cleaning, house cleaning). This helps employees with their work-life balance, and enables them to concentrate more on work (fewer distractions). And it’s a feature that attracts talented Millennials as employees. According to a survey last year, only 3% of all businesses — large and small — offer concierge services.
Small businesses can provide help to employees without breaking their budget. The usual way is for the company to pay for the concierge services (a business that makes the arrangements for employees’ needs) and for the employees to pay for the cost of the services they use. For example, a concierge service may arrange to pick up and drop off an employee’s car for an oil change; the employee pays for the oil change. However, companies can pick up the full tab (something a small business likely can’t afford).
It’s estimated that large companies offering concierge services pay $3 to $8 per month per employee. Whatever help you can offer is a valued employee benefit and makes you appear more like a large company than a small business.
Small cash payments
If you don’t engage an outside concierge service provider, you can help employees find their own concierge service provider (it may be called a “residential concierge”) by increasing their pay by a certain amount (e.g., $10 per week). (It’s unlikely that an individual paying concierge services will command the same low price as a major corporation.) The additional pay for the concierge services can, for example, be provided on a debit card that is refreshed monthly.
From a tax perspective, the added pay is taxable compensation. It’s reported on the employee’s W-2 and is subject to payroll taxes.
It’s time consuming for employees to track down information about the personal services they need and it’s no secret that many spend work time online or on the phone searching for this information. As a no-cost (to your employees) benefit, prepare a list of resources that employees can tap into if and when needed.
While it may take some time to create (and routinely monitor for changes, additions, etc.), the investment can pay off in employee loyalty; it will reduce time spent at work by employees searching for this information.
Consider finding listings for:
- Daycare options in the area
- Housecleaning services
- In-home care for parents (e.g., Visiting Nurses)
- Pet care, including dog walking
Don’t have time to collect the information? Ask your staff to collaborate by sharing their favorite services and gather the information in some form that’s accessible to your staff.
Find concierge services
If you decide to provide a service for your staff, look locally. However, here are some big concierge services to check out:
While it’s not the usual profitability strategy, helping employees with their work-life balance will surely result in greater employee loyalty and increased productivity. In my view this translates into a better bottom line.