Talking to Inc.
, Chieh Huang, the company’s CEO and cofounder, said he decided to pay for his employees’ weddings after one staff member’s particularly difficult situation.
The worker, Marcel Graham, was struggling to cover his mother’s medical expenses and save up to marry his fiancée, eventually breaking down at his work station.
Right there and then, Huang decided to do something: “F--- it, I'm gonna do the right thing and change this man's life," Huang said.
“We got his fiancée to come in and surprised him; it was water works all around. This is the stuff I enjoy, doing good.”
Huang eventually paid for Graham’s wedding and then decided to reimburse any fulltime staff member for up to US$20,000 for their weddings as well.
“We don’t do free meals, we don’t do $10,000 happy hours, we’re lean all around,” Huang says. “We don't have extravagant salaries, but we focus on a few fringe benefits.”
The firm’s HR department has already implemented a formal wedding request program. Out of the company’s 125 employees, Huang predicts around 10% will eventually get married. In fact, around six will likely be walking down the aisle soon, he added.
“It’s not like we're providing $25,000 in annual benefits for each employee; this is very targeted,” he said. “Culture is so important to us and if I can help an employee in a bad situation, it benefits the culture and benefits the entire company.”
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Employees in the e-commerce firm Boxed receive one of the more unusual benefits packages globally – US$20,000 towards their wedding plans.