Reinvesting in Employees

Thinking Out Loud with Don Flow

Flow Companies Inc.


“We set up a fund where we pay for the college education of all of the children of our employees. And we’ve sent hundreds and hundreds to college along the way because we said, “how do we invest in their families?” And as I tell a lot of our guys that I hired when they were out of high school and stuff, now, I probably couldn’t hire your children now, because the level of education required, for instance, to work on cars, is much higher than it used to be. And so, for your kids to have the same kind of opportunities you’ve had, college really matters, and technical degrees, at least, really matter. So there would be an example of us reinvesting back into our folks.

We also have an employee emergency fund that is democratically elected. Managers can’t be on it. And, people have personal emergencies, they apply, we give grants. And so, you know, people don’t realize that hey, I have a parent that lives on the west coast, and somethings happens, I get on a plane the next day, it’s $2000. So, we just fund that. So that we just all kind of, programs, internally that got developed. We, when health care costs really went crazy and people’s deductibles went up a lot, we said, look, people can’t afford these deductibles. What do we do about that? So we put together a fund that they can borrow against, and they can take it out over 12 months, and no interest charged. Instead of having to pay a deductible. That just doesn’t work for folks.

We say, we never want you to miss anything your children do. Their football, baseball, ballet, band, you’re there. And ya know, if we’re not good enough as a company to manage you can’t be gone for two hours, something’s wrong with us as a company. So I work hard, and I work a fair amount of hours, but then when I’m done, I’m done. And really try to be fully engaged with my family along the way.”

Dig deeper. Watch Driving Trust on Youtube.

Center for Faithful Business

Seattle Pacific University

Dr. JoAnn Flett, Executive Director


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