Since our founding in the late 1980s, Motherlove Herbal Company has focused on nurturing. You will even find the word in our tagline: “Nurturing Life.” We nurture the Earth through our sustainability initiatives, which you can learn more about here. We nurture our community through our corporate giving program, which sits under the umbrella of our Nurturing Life Foundation. We nurture our customers by using only the highest-quality ingredients in our products for moms and babies. And, of equal importance to us, we nurture our employees by providing a creative, inclusive and supportive environment in which to work. Over the years, Motherlove has worked diligently to provide competitive benefits to our employees, including some unique and new offerings.
Motherlove starts by providing our employees basic health, dental and life insurance plans, with premiums paid by the company. We also pay half of the premium for dependents carried on our health policy. Supplemental insurance options are available so that employees and dependents can remain healthy.
We have a high-deductible health plan in place, which takes the premium dollars that we would be paying on a traditional plan and reroutes them for the employees’ benefit. If they need the money to pay for claims, it’s available. If they have don’t have claims currently, they are accumulating dollars in their health savings account (HSA) to use for future health liabilities.
Motherlove assists in payment of medical claims in two ways:
- By contributing dollars to employee HSAs each year.
- By providing a company-sponsored medical expense reimbursement plan that minimizes out-of-pocket spending, both for individuals and families, reducing out-of-pocket maximums by half for both individuals and employees.
In addition, under workers’ compensation insurance in Colorado, it’s mandated that the first three days of missed work are unpaid until after an employee is out of work for 14 days. Many of our employees’ work injuries do not extend to missing that much time. So, to offset this financial gap, we pay the employee for the date of injury as well as the initial three unpaid days.
Of course, health benefits alone do not constitute “nurturing.” To keep employees engaged, we offer $750 per employee, per year, toward professional development opportunities of the employee’s choosing to keep them moving forward in their position and career. Achieving the goal is a purposeful experience for the employee and a rewarding long-term investment for the company.
Additionally, there are times in an employee’s tenure when a little extra financial assistance is needed. To help out in these circumstances, Motherlove has come up with a few financial support programs. The first is not unique — a simple advance upon earnings prior to payday. If the need is more intense, we have a loan program that allows a no-interest loan of up to $2,500, which must be repaid in a year through payroll deductions. We don’t set criteria for the need of the loan, but this benefit is reserved for full-time employees, and there are some additional qualifications that must be met.
Often, however, employees need access to time off rather than money. For these circumstances, Motherlove offers a pretty robust leave policy for a company of fewer than 30 employees. We provide up to 12 weeks of time off for medical and paternity leave, and 26 weeks off for a new mom. There is a financial relief component to these leave policies. Motherlove provides a four-week emergency pay policy for someone in medical need and for new dads, and eight weeks of emergency pay for a new mom, allowing those employees a little peace of mind in difficult and/or rewarding times.
Another support platform we offer is our bonus program. It is based on the performance of the company and is paid out as a percentage of salary, rather than as a flat rate. So everyone, from the newest employee to the CEO, benefits by our labor, and we share in it together. That’s a rare commodity in today’s workplace.
Keeping our employees and their families physically and financially healthy reduces stress and increases well-being, job satisfaction, and productivity. That’s a win-win for all concerned.
In that same vein, work-life balance is a true cornerstone of our culture. A liberal percentage of our profits is funneled into the employee experience to make sure a balance exists in their lives. It’s easy to provide work balance, because we always have plenty to do. As for life balance, we offer flextime, paid time off and wellness benefits to assist the employee in that goal.
Flextime is offered through a few programs. The most basic is flexible schedules through classification. On a daily basis we offer paid breaks, in addition to the state-mandated time, to encourage employees to take time off throughout the day so they stay alert and relaxed. This program reduces each employee’s productive hours from 40 hours per week to 36, raising Motherlove’s labor costs but keeping employee expected pay the same. It may be costly, but we feel the benefits are worth it.
In some of our departments, flextime also allows employees to work remotely from home or while traveling. This helps employees meet their personal and family needs, as well as take advantage of recreational opportunities, without loss of productivity or worry over deadlines and work projects when an event occurs.
Flextime is also used by some exempt employees to cover small amounts of personal time. PTO for this classification can be used in full-day or half-day increments. When personal time is needed in smaller allotments, an employee can replace the scheduled time with time worked outside of their established schedule. Schedule flexibility relieves the stress of a deadline or work project and allows a team member to be fully engaged while also meeting personal needs.
In addition, exempt employees are frequently asked to travel to trade shows or trainings that occur outside of their standard work schedules. When this happens, we restore the work-life balance by adding hours to their PTO banks, compensating for the personal time these trips absorb.
Our employees also can raise their PTO balances by volunteering in the community. Motherlove offers one hour of PTO for every two hours of volunteer time. In 2018 so far, this has resulted in 220 reported volunteer hours, up from a total of 158 hours in 2017. This benefit is an easy way to pay it forward, benefitting the employee and the community.
Finally, Motherlove nurtures employees with our unique wellness program. In the past 12 months, Motherlove has spent approximately $750 per employee on wellness benefits, not including lost labor costs. Our offerings begin with Wellness Wednesday, where employees are encouraged to take an hour out of their workday and spend it in a fitness activity with their peers, whether walking along the river behind our offices, riding bikes along the trail or spending a quiet hour in meditation. Of our 25 eligible employees, about 75 percent take advantage of the opportunity in any given week. Also, once a month, employees can choose from a massage or a spa experience to help relieve the stress of life, all covered by Motherlove. For those who prefer a more active benefit, they can instead choose to have their annual gym membership paid for by the company.
At Motherlove, we love our people. We know that if we take care of our team, our team will take care of our business, and our business will help take care of our community and the world. That’s part of our mission, and we are proud to fulfill it!