When Richard Cayer’s truck was stolen, leaving him unable to drive to work, his employer and colleagues rushed to his aid – and within days, he had a new vehicle.
Cayer works at BigSteelBox, a moving and storage company based in Kelowna, BC.
There, helping staff in times of financial need is a team effort – pioneered by workers, and backed by their bosses.
Based on one of the company’s core values – “We love our family” – employees launched an initiative, dubbed the Care Forward Program, for their co-workers to access funds when they have a crisis or suddenly need help.
Those include after a family member’s death, health issues, or financial struggles
Employees chip in money from their pay cheques, and the company matches every donation – with more than $16,000 distributed so far.
For Cayer, that help was invaluable.
The placement technician says he was blown away when, in the days after his vehicle was stolen, his work family rallied together to help him buy a new one.
“I relied on my truck to not only get me to work, but help me meet all my family obligations. When I found out it had been stolen, I was devastated,” he told HRD.
“When I showed up at work the next day, I learned that my colleagues, unbeknownst to me, had put my name forward to be a recipient of the Care Forward Program. With the money from the program, I was able to buy a new car within the week.”
He says working for a company that genuinely cares about his wellbeing makes him more motivated and driven at work.
BigSteelBox’s president Jason Siebenga says the original idea for the program came from a staff member who’d read about the concept in a book, and wanted to bring it to work.
As “We love our family” is top of the company’s value statements, Siebenga says it’s a tangible way for the business and its employees to show compassion and look out for each other in times of need.
“Just as families stand by each other in good times and bad, we want our staff to know that we are here for them to ride the wave of life. Through the highs and the lows, we are here to support our team,” he told HRD.
“The fact that this is an employee-led initiative shows that our team members embody what BigSteelBox is all about … If the financial burden is something that we can take off people’s plates, it’s the absolute least we can do.”
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