Boxed chief Chieh Huang announced last week that its employees’ wedding expenses, up to $20,000, will be paid for by the company.
The announcement comes after last year when the company said it would pay the tuition fees for the workers’ kids. At of this September, five students have received tuition fees for their educations.
Expressing that college education and weddings should take precedence over benefits like happy hours and snacks, Huang said, “Free snacks get old. I just want to do the stuff that really matters.”
Twenty-six-year-old packer Marcel Graham had been working seven days a week, two shifts a day – making $13 an hour – in the company’s Edison, New Jersey, fulfillment center to save for his wedding; but had to spend almost all of his savings for his mother’s medical bills, the Huffington Post reports.
In despair, he broke down on the warehouse floor. Huang called Graham the same night. Upon learning his employee’s state of desperation, he called Graham and his fiancee to the fulfillment center and announced that the company will pay for their workers’ weddings.
“We got his fiancée to come in and surprised him; it was water works all around. This is the stuff I enjoy, doing good,” Huang said, as reported by Inc.
“We had to step in and do the right thing,” Huang said. He further added that in times when it is expected from the employees to step up – put in an extra shift, for instance – they do so; but the same seldom occurs when the situation is reversed. “If someone is in a life-altering situation, most companies will not help them,” Huang said.
According to Bruce Elliott, manager of compensation and benefits at the Society for Human Resource Management, being creative with benefits and perks holds great marketing value.
“There is absolute marketing value from differentiating yourself with regards to benefits. It’s kind of serving two purposes — highlighting the social consciousness to current and future employees, but also marketing it to customers who might think ‘oh, that’s a nice company, I think I’ll buy from them,” Elliott said, as reported by the Washington Post.
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