Offering more benefits for your dog daycare employees

By Eve Molzhon

I am, like many of you, trying to look at how to offer more benefits to my dog daycare team members without breaking the bank. Health insurance always seems problematic for small businesses. So instead I looked at how to do stuff outside the box. What could you do outside the box? Could you negotiate with a chiropractor to give free chiropractic care for your staff through you paying for your staff to go for an adjustment once a month? Could you work out something with a small business that does massage therapy where you give that business the list of employees or you create an employee card that they give to the owner of the business, and they just invoice you monthly for massages for your staff? Think about how you can provide some kind of health and wellness program.

The competition to find good staff, keep good staff, and provide things for your staff is real. I think the cool and unique thing about being a small business is that we can think outside the box. We have a local place called the Neighborhood Family Clinic, which is an alternative to going to corporate hospital. It is primarily made up of retired doctors or people that just didn’t want to be part of the corporate system, so to speak. We’ve set it up where my staff can go to them, show their health program card, and receive healthcare services free of charge to my staff. Then the clinic will just invoice me every month. 

I took a little inventory with my staff to find out what do they go to the doctor for and why don’t they go. I added up what the average cost of insurance per employee would be if I provided a traditional plan where they went to a hospital, and it was almost $9,000 per person. With 20 employees, that’s $180,000. So instead, I have a local business giving my staffers use of this family clinic at no charge to my employees. With my 20 staffers, let’s say all of them can get a wellness exam at $70 per person; five of my employees are going to go in for $110 per clinic visit; two of my staffers on average will get an x-ray at $135 each; ten of my staffers are going to get strep throat cultures at $30 apiece; two of them will go in for testing and bloodwork; and ten of them are going to get antibiotics. If I take the average and if I paid for it, it’s gonna cost me $3,500. So rather than paying $180,000 (for my employees to still have a $250 deductible and a co-pay of $25 per visit), it’s costing me just $3,500 and it will not cost my employees anything. 

Think outside the box—even if they never use it. You’ve gifted that to them, along with that emotional and intellectual value. Consider working something out with a local family clinic, massage therapist, or chiropractor. You can make a card on your computer in Microsoft Publisher or Word and laminate it. If or when an employee quits, they have to turn that card back in or you send over an updated list of employees every month to the businesses that are involved in your health and wellness program. How are you adding value to your staff in the most cost-effective manner? I’m excited to offer this to my staff. A lot of them may not use it, but at least I know that they have that opportunity, and if I can help promote them staying healthy, well, that’s truly what matters at the end of the day.

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