How do you show your employees you care? You care for your employees’ children.
All employers are looking to use perks and other benefits to create sustainable bonds and lasting connections with their employees. Throwing more money at employees may seem like an easy way to improve employee workplace satisfaction but it is not they only retention tool out there. Employees stay with a company because they believe the company cares about them and their well-being.
If they really want to show employees they care, perhaps more HR departments should follow Starbucks’ lead and provide child care—not full-time child care, but a service many would consider almost as valuable—back up child care when an employee needs it the most.
Starbucks in the United States has partnered up with a company called Care@Work. Each eligible Starbucks employee will receive a free premium membership to access Care@Work services including subsidized day care at a cost of $1 per hour for up to 10 backup care days.
This isn’t only for child care, however. Starbucks realizes that many of their employees are in the sandwich generation and are looking after children as well as dependent adults. This benefit perk applies to both dependent groups.
With the tight labour market in North America, employers are looking for ways to stand out and attract prospective employees, while retaining existing ones. Providing subsidized child and adult care may be a key factor in helping your organization stand out.
Starbucks has been a leader in the service industry, which traditionally treats its employees as low-skill, entry level, transient workers. Starbucks has done the opposite by providing its employees with the full spectrum of benefits including medical, education, stock options, and even pensions.
Cynics might argue that Starbucks is adding all these benefits just to retain employees; however, it’s worth noting that the Starbucks mission statement highlights a desire to “inspire and nurture the human spirit”, and that among the company’s core values are commitments to foster a sense of belonging, to find new ways to take the company forward, and to “challenge the status quo”. Others might argue that in providing backup care for its employees’ loved ones, Starbucks is doing an admirable job of living up to this mission statement and these core values—that it is doing business “through the lens of humanity”.
- Research two other service industry companies. What types of employee benefits do they offer their employees?
- Why don’t more service companies take the Starbucks approach to employee benefits?