Jonathan Wishnick, owner of the Chicago franchise of Senior Helpers, cares a lot about his employees. He’s aware of the emotional and physical challenges they face in providing care for the frail elderly—including patients with dementia, and victims of strokes or serious illness—for up to twelve hours a day. “Our workforce is wonderful, but the demands of the job are unique. There’s a lot of interpersonal finesse involved in caretaking,” says Wishnick.
Retaining good employees is essential to keeping his business competitive because it’s relationship-driven, and when an employee leaves, there’s both a financial and an emotional cost. “Our workers are very skilled—and they go through a training period, we invest in them and don’t want to lose them.”
In the summer of 2015, Wishnick began to offer Working Credit’s financial wellness program as a benefit to workers who’d been with his company for at least four months. For Wishnick and his workers, the results have exceeded expectations: 82% of employees who were offered the benefit signed up. And 12 months later, program outcomes continue to be strong. The number of employees with Prime credit scores (at least 660) has almost tripled, and the number of employees with a safety net of at least $1,000 in available credit (through one or more credit cards) has increased by 52%. Importantly, all the caregivers who enrolled since the program began in 2015 have remained with Senior Helpers.
He now has an effective, low-cost incentive that helps him retain his best workers and gives him a leg up on the competition. “We provide space for workshops and counseling, but after that, we get out of the way and let Working Credit’s staff do their job. It’s between them and our employees and we don’t need to be involved. It’s basically a turnkey program.”
The result has been a big win for his employees, the clients they serve, and the business bottom line. “Do I care about my employees? Absolutely, but I’m also a businessperson,” says Wishnick, “and from an economic perspective, Working Credit’s program just makes sense.”
For more information on Working Credit’s financial wellness program go to: http://www.workingcredit.org/what-we-do/make-credit-work/