Employee benefits tend to be pretty standard — health insurance, paid vacation, and some sort of retirement fund. But one new CEO is putting all these expectations to shame; he’s offering one benefit that is making many brides and grooms happy.
The CEO of subscription service Boxed, Chieh Huang, has offered to cover his employees’ wedding expenses up to $20,000 as a part of their benefits package. Now, while 78% of executives believe vacations are necessary to prevent burnout and improve performance, Huang believes that taking some of the financial burden off his employees when it comes to weddings will do just the same.
It all started when Huang visited his employees at a fulfillment center in Atlanta back in 2015. He met an employee who was forced to get a second job to cover the hefty expense of a wedding, and was even considering leaving Boxed for a better salary elsewhere. So, in the pursuit of retaining quality employees, Huang set up a nonprofit organization that gives a portion of Huang’s own salary as the CEO to his employees to use as they wish.
The nonprofit isn’t only for wedding expenses, as a portion of it is also dedicated to paying for college tuition for his employee’s children. When asked why he decided to make such an investment in his employees, Huang explained to CNBC that he was looking to make a long-term change in their future after noticing his employees suffering financially. He explained:
“The most obvious answer was to get everyone a car. But I wanted something that was going to be more long-lasting and really empower upward mobility. In my life, that was my education.”
Huang has not made public mention of how much he has spent on his employees’ children, but he has given a cap to the marriage benefit, $20,000. Brides.com reports that the average cost of a wedding across the nation is around $26,000, and the typical wedding has around 136 guests. So with this number in mind, Huang can really help struggling couples make their wedding dreams come true.
Boxed is a household goods and grocery e-tailer that specializes in selling bulk goods to people all across the United States. At first, Huang ran the entire business out of his garage, but now he boasts more than 200 employees and especially generous benefits. But for Huang, offering these impressive benefits is not a way for him to stand out among other competitors. It’s a way for him to bolster employee productivity and to build a great company from the inside out.
Plus, Huang says, it keeps him humble.
“After leading my first company, [gaming start-up Astro Ape], I realized that it doesn’t matter how powerful or big an organization is. If all of its people walked out one day, that organization is worth zero the next day,” says Huang, who practiced corporate law before entering the corporate world, to CNBC. “That was a huge epiphany for me, and it made me realize that I’m only as good as the people I lead.”
Even though 93% of brides use the Internet to plan their weddings, Boxed brides use their CEO. It’s a job perk that most brides can only dream about. And according to Huang, every employee is eligible to gain access to both the tuition and the wedding benefits.