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Military as a helpful example for employee benefits

For above and beyond the traditional, companies can learn from the military when it comes to whole family benefits.

military salute

military salute

What brands can learn from the military

I spent many years as a military dependent, and while the downsides, like war, are certainly difficult, the institution could be looked to as an example for companies looking outside the box for employee benefit options. Here are five benefits the military offers its members and family members that civilian companies wanting to provide more attractive and applicable benefits can look to for example.

On-site childcare. Anywhere you find a military base, you will find childcare centers. It isn’t necessarily free childcare, but the advantages of offering on-site child care for your employees are endless. It eliminates worry, makes routine medical appointments more accessible (and eliminates employees needing an entire day off for a well-child appointment), and, some say, increases employee productivity due to the peace of mind of having their children close.

Family Support Services. Sure, insurance pays for medical necessities like counseling and physical therapy, but my experience as a mother is this. Just because I have access to those services doesn’t mean I can easily utilize them. A company who provides in home resources for things such as parent support, therapy, evaluations, etc., in my book, is a company who understands the hassles of family life, and when I feel my family life is respected, I am a better employee. I more on-task, more productive, and just plain nicer.

Family related paid leave. In the military, no one is docked any leave days for taking children to doctors, going to school functions, or keeping up with preventative care appointments. How many times have you sat at your desk knowing you are losing a battle against an oncoming illness? How many times have you found yourself out of vacation days, and the only “vacation” you took was to parent-teacher conferences and to a poorly planned music program during which your child cried and had to be yanked off stage?

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Written By

Kristyl Barron holds a BA in English Education from the University of Central Oklahoma and an MHR in Counseling/Organizational Management from the University of Oklahoma. Barron has been writing professionally since 2008, and projects include a memoir entitled Give Your Brother Back His Barbie and an in progress motivational book called Aspies Among Us.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. JoeLoomer

    July 5, 2013 at 8:23 am

    “In the military, no one is docked any leave days for taking children to doctors, going to school functions, or keeping up with preventative care appointments.” While this may be the case for many Air Force and Army folks whose bases don’t float, its not necessarily true for all the services. If you have children, you sign a Dependent Care Certificate if you’re a single parent or joint military married couple. You’re required to have a back-up plan and can be held accountable if you don’t. The mission comes first. Always has, always will. I would say employers could offer similar benefits providing there were policies in place to cover the 1% that would abuse any services like this. Trust but verify.

    Navy Chief, Navy Pride

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