Personal Services and family friendly benefits

Credit Unions

Credit unions usually separate businesses established with the employer’s assistance to help employees with borrowing and savings needs. Employees usually become members by purchasing a share of the credit union’s stock for a small fee – perhaps $5 or $10. Members can then deposit savings that accrue interest at a rate determined by the credit union’s board of directors. Loan eligibility and the loan’s rate of interest are usually more favorable than those of banks and finance companies.

Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs)

A formal employer program for providing employees with counseling and /or treatment programs for problems such as alcoholism gambling or stress

EAPs provide counseling and advisory services such as personal legal and financial services, child and elder care referrals, adoption assistance mental health counseling and life event planning. EAPs are increasingly popular will more than 60% of larger firms offering such programs.

One study found that personal mental health was the most common problem addressed by employee assistance programs, followed by family problems.

For the employer EAPs produce advantages not just costs. For example sick family members an problem like depression account for many of the sick days employees take. Employee assistance programs can reduce such absences by providing expert advice on issues like elder care referrals and diseases management.

Key steps for launching a successful EAP program include:

1) Develop a policy statement: Define the program’s purpose employee eligibility the roles and responsibilities of various in the organization and procedures for using the plan.
2) Ensure professional staffing: Consider the professional and state licensing requirements.
3) Maintain confidential record Keeping systems: Everyone involved with the EAP including supervisors secretaries and support staff, must understand the importance of confidentiality. Also ensure files are locked access is limited and monitored and identifying information is minimized.
4) Be aware of legal issues: For example in most states counselors must disclose suspicious of child abuse to appropriate state agencies. Get legal advice on establishing the EAP, carefully screen the credentials of the EAP staff, and obtain professional liability insurance for the EAP.

Family friendly benefits

Benefits such as child care and fitness facilities that make it easier for employees to balance their work and family responsibilities.

Several trends are changing the landscape of benefit administration. There are more households where both adults work; more one parent households more women in the workforce. More workers over 55, and there’s the time bind – people working harder and longer without the time to do all they’d like to do. The issues involve working men, as well as women. One expert on work and family issues says that for men, particularly the younger ones, it has become more socially acceptable to take time off or flexible schedule to take care of kids and employers are responding to this change by granting to fathers the time required.

The pressures of balancing work and family life had led many employers to bolster what they call their family friendly benefits. These generally include benefits like child care, elder care fitness facilities and flexible work schedules benefits that help employees balance their family and work lives.

A survey by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) found that bout 29% of employers provided at least some type of child care assistance. The SHRM survey also found that, of the firms responding, 55% offer flextime, 31% offer compressed workweeks, and 34% permit some telecommuting. Family friendly firms routinely turn up on best companies to work for lists.

Software giant SAS Institute Inc offers generous employee benefits. The North Carolina firms keeps turnover at 4% in an industry where 20% is typical in large part by offering family friendly benefits like paid maternity leave, day care on site, lunchtime piano concerts, massages, and yoga classes like this one.