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Get out of town! Three companies offer innovative vacation benefits

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in HR Management,Human Resources,Leaders & Managers,Management Training,Office Communication,Workplace Communication

As we head into the Fourth of July weekend, take a look at how three companies handle vacation time—from compressed schedules leading to more time off to luxury digs fit for a wealthy client. And don’t forget the overseas surgery!

These best practices are pulled from the pages of HR Specialist's Compensation & Benefits newsletter.

Longer workday gives 2 weeks off for Solix employees

About half of the 400 employees at the Parsippany, N.J., headquarters of outsourcing firm Solix don’t report for work for two weeks around the December holidays—but the other half do.

Members of a work group that specializes in business processes for schools and libraries mirrors the schedule of its clients, which typically are closed for the holidays.

But they work 40 hours a week the rest of the year, while colleagues in other work groups take off after 37.5 hours.

The four-year-old arrangement works for the firm’s clients, which asked Solix to make its auditors more available during crunch times. The company’s solution was to add hours to their regular workweek and to give them the holiday time off.

“Those customers are not available to contact during those weeks,” notes Lisa Tubbs, director of corporate communications for Solix.

Contact: Lisa Tubbs at (973) 581-5290.

Employees use luxury condos for $200 a week

Employees of Sundance Vacations get to vacation where their customers do.

The Wilkes-Barre, Pa.-based organization owns condominium units in Hawaii, Orlando, Phoenix and other sunny spots around the United States and the Caribbean. As long as a unit is unrented, any employee can use it—for $200 a week. That’s the typical nightly rate customers pay.

More than half the firm’s 600 employees take advantage of the perk each year, often during the spring and fall when customer demand for the condos isn’t high, says CEO Tina Dowd. The company releases the unbooked units to employees six weeks in advance of the availability date.

Employees aren’t the only ones who like the benefit, says Dowd. “This award helps us even with our customers,” she says. “They have this confidence that if we’re doing the right thing by our employees, we’ll do the right thing by our customers.”

Contact: Tina Dowd at tdowd@vacmail.com.

Georgia firm adds 'medical tourism' to benefits

Employees of IDMI Systems in Warner Robins, Ga., who are willing to travel out of the United States for medical procedures could pay 80% less than they would if they had surgery at home.

The firm, which develops automation software for the insurance industry, has added an international medical travel option to its employee health plan.

Employees and dependents covered by the company’s self-funded health plan can visit any of 29 hospitals and four dental clinics around the world—most with U.S. board-certified physicians on staff—for care through a network run by Companion Global Healthcare.

IDMI’s risk management director, Bill Ford, calls the benefit “medical tourism” and says the organization saves thousands of dollars in medical costs when an employee is treated at a hospital in the overseas network, while the employee saves on out-of-pocket costs through preferred pricing.

Some U.S. employers in the network waive deductibles and co-pays for employees who travel for their procedures, and a few pay travel expenses.

Companion President David Boucher notes that traveling overseas for surgery is not right for everyone and not appropriate for all medical procedures.

Contact: David Boucher at (800) 906-7065.

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