I was asked this week by a client this week if I stand in the shower coming up with ideas……. yes, yes I do.
About 7 weeks ago after struggling to secure candidates for 2 clients for an ongoing period (and who in the Goldfields isn’t experiencing this right now) I wondered if I could put together an Employee Benefits Program like I had for previous employers – except on this occasion it would need to suit multiple employers, a diverse range of industries from not for profit to mining contractors, not have the “buying power” of a large employee base and I would have the unenviable task of trying to convince fellow small businesses in Kalgoorlie, most doing it tough in retail, why supplying a discount on purchases or services is actually a marketing business driver as opposed to a business negative.
And so the seed for pulling together an Employee Benefits Program to benefit my clients and their employees was sown 🌱
The Employee Benefit Program is absolutely FREE 😱 to my clients and is strategically designed to assist with attracting new employees, retaining existing ones and building a positive workplace culture & employee brand. The strategies can assist with not just saving money by reducing turnover but makes the business more sustainable, every time an employee walks out the door they’re taking their organisational knowledge with them. And in an era where everyone is a subject matter expert in something, that puts most businesses in a precarious position.
What I was hearing & seeing from clients was the lack of ability to compete against the bigger employers in town with their deep, deep pockets. And quite often the salary on offer was comparable, if not equal to the big companies, but the the lack of capacity, for whatever reason, to match the additional extras hit their efforts hard.
So I’ve taken the guess work, and hard work, out of getting a program in place, and taking a proven, proactive measure against the hiring difficulties for small – medium businesses in the Goldfields.
The program is essentially a win / win for local business, my clients & their employees gain access to the program and it’s benefits, while participating retailers can improve the spend & repeat business of residents through a proven marketing method, all the while supporting fellow small businesses in town.
So what does the program offer?
Salary Packaging – Eligible employees can salary package their housing costs as remote area employees and / or a novated lease. Not sure how it all works? As we are based in a remote area as classified by the ATO, employees are able to claim Remote Area Benefits on items such as Remote Area Mortgage Interest, Remote Area Rent, Remote Area Fuel (gas & electricity) and Remote Area Travel. Normally tax is taken from your salary before you spend it. You then pay all your expenses and are left with the remainder. With salary packaging, the employer pays the same salary – but instead of paying all your expenses after you’re taxed, you pay for selected expenses, such as your mortgage or rent before you’re taxed. You reduce the tax you pay and are left with more spending money in the kitty. Normally salary packaging providers will only conduct business with individual employers with > 40 employees, after an Australia wide hunt I managed to track down a provider able to service small business needs
Corporate Gym Membership – Snap Fitness Kalgoorlie have come on board to supply corporate membership to the program. Encouragement of a fit & healthy workforce by way of corporate gym memberships can assist with a reduction in absence due to illness and a reduction of injuries, both at work and away, due to poor functional capacity.
A host of discounts on products & services – Because I have such a diverse range of clients I need to have a diverse range of offers to make the program a success. As much as I can, I have tried to keep the program 100% local, but, and this is a very big but, I work for my clients first and foremost and this program needs to be as diverse as my client base for it to have a chance at success. For that reason I will continue to try and build on the initial dozen or so participants by engaging with national franchises to encourage them to get on board, a discount program without any businesses willing to supply a discount just isn’t going to work.
So whats in it for you Simone? Total honesty? I’d love for Goldfields businesses to have the chance to experience the full scope of what contemporary HR can do for their business. I honestly believe that some of the staffing issues felt by employers can by directly traced back to a lack of, or poor, processes involving employees and the leadership team (whoa! big call). Yep, we are definitely experiencing a skills shortage with trades & operator positions and yep Kalgoorlie is experiencing a liveability crisis that is being reflected in the high number of FIFO employees and a general reluctance of people to uproot their lives and give living in the Goldfields a chance. But, not everyone starting a new job here is a newbie to town, they are an existing resident who has left a local employer, and happy employees don’t leave great workplaces unless they really have to. So in summary, what that means is I’d love to be able to build my business by being able to share strategies that will also help you build yours.
I’ve put hours and hours of work into this and I receive absolutely no financial incentive off it, I don’t charge clients to participate, I don’t receive kick backs from program suppliers – ZILCH.
So how is this all sounding? Contact me on the link below if you’d like to set the wheels in motion to become a client, if you’d like more info click here to watch a vlog over on Facebook.
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