Creative job incentives bring companies success

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The job market is always growing more competitive, but some of the business scene is changing.

Just a few years ago, employers only had to offer the basics.

“You had people either leaving the labor market altogether, because they were disgruntled, or you really had employers not even necessarily doing cost of living increases,” said Tatiana Bailey, director of the Southern Colorado Economic Forum. “People were just happy to keep their jobs.”

In Colorado, job openings are on the rise. Employers have to offer more incentives, such as healthcare and help with tuition, to get the best candidates.

“With those types of trends going on and other positive kinds of economic indicators, we’re probably going to see more of those employer-related incentive programs,” said Bailey.

It’s a philosophy Elope has taken on since they started. This Colorado Springs wholesale costume designer and distributor offers everything to their employees.

They cover their healthcare premium and even offer profit sharing, but it’s the day-to-day benefits that make their workplace so special.

“If you’re having a rough day, you can go hunt down the dog of the day, and just sit down, and have a good pet with them, and it just changes your whole spirit and your attitude,” said Carolye Asfahl, chief operations optimizer at Elope.

The dogs hang out among all of the decorated cubicles, and the sky is the limit when it comes to their dream project.

“People write on a cloud the dream they want to achieve, and by posting it out there and really putting it publicly right in our open space where everyone walks by, then you have people backing you up,” said Asfahl.

Elope has encouraged people like Marlene Lloret to go after their dreams even while at work. She became a certified yoga instructor by teaching classes to her co-workers.

“I think as long as you have the passion for it, then the support is there,” said Lloret.

All fun aside, they said they are serious about silly business. In fact, these daily benefits of the job have been profitable for the last 20 years.

“The turnover rate is a lot lower and of course that helps the employer in the long run, because it reduces training costs,” said Bailey.

This is a huge bonus for the company, because it takes a lot to get in their doors.

“We’re very selective about the people we choose to work here, because we want the very best, and we want to make our environment here the very best, so we get those great people,” said Elope co-owner Kevin Johnson.

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