Ezine Article by Denise R. McCoyEmployers have it tough these days. In the everchanging world of employee relations, how can you be sure that your employees are truly happy with you as an employer? Are you gauging their happiness by using the traditioanl checks and balances?Do they show up everyday?--check! Are they well groomed?--check! Do they report to work on time?--check! Have they told you how much they appreciate their job? During the last employee review, was it an improvement from the previous 6 to 12 months, or has there been a change in their performance?Well, let's hope this New Housing Employee Benefits: Building Moral, Retaining Employees & Recruiting Top Talent can help shed some light on a traditional subject with an innovative spin.Remember the game, Family Feud? During the 30 minute game show families from all over the United States would compete for a chance to win $10,000.00 by guessing what America thought about certain topics. The questions would go something like this...."Name something found in your mother's purse?" "This is something you might consume after you eat a spicy meal." "Name something a teenage girl looks forward to?" Truly, there was never a wrong or right answer. The only answer was YOUR answer.Imagine you invited me to visit with you this afternoon. Let's say, I stopped by during the lunch hour. The purpose of my visit is to help you gain a better understanding of how your employees see YOU as their employer. The core focus of my discussion is your current benefits package. I might ask your employees, "How would you rate your employers' benefits package? How do the benefits offered match up to the needs of your family? Are there any benefits not being offered that you would like to see offered?Again, this is a hypothetical scenario. By walking you through the exercise, I'm sure your wheels started to turn. You began to think like the employee for just a moment. Employee relations is just that--relating to your employees.Traditionally, 401(k), medical, dental and vision benefits were the norm for any job. However, alot has changed. Employees are looking for a benefits package that is tangible with the ability to build long term stability and growth. Although the same old benefits program is still widely received by most employees, offering an innovative alternative could change the landscape of your business model tremendously.The National Association of Realtors is the largest trade organization in the world. To date, they have over 1 million Realtor members. They are the "Voice of Real Estate". The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® was founded as the National Association of Real Estate Exchanges on May 12, 1908, at the YMCA Auditorium in Chicago, IL. Their code of ethics was adopted in 1913, as the "Golden Rule." Visit www.Realtor.org. After 101 years in existence, NAR remains the most trusted name in Real Estate.Recently, the National Association of Realtors made history during the launch of one of the most innovative employer assisted housing benefits program (EAH), known as Home from Work. The program encourages employers to help their valued employees realize their dream of home ownership by assisting them with the purchase process.To help get the word out about the program, Realtors are trained by Certified Trainer/Instructors in the benefits of the Home from Work program. They are shown how to introduce the concept to their local associations, non-profit housing agencies and employers. As you can imagine, Realtors are more than just agents. Many consumers see real estate professionals as housing advocates. The Home from Work program allows Realtors the opportunity to become leaders in their community with the power and ability to effect positive change.Employers may wonder how they may benefit by offering such a program. There are three key benefits of the Home from Work Employer Assisted Housing Benefits Program:*On-site home buyer education workshops conducted by Realtors and lenders*On-one-one counseling administered by a non-profit housing agency*Financial incentive (matched savings, grant, deferred loan.Traditionally, potential homeowners face 3 hurdles. Lack of information, lack of confidence and lack of funds are barriers to homeownership. It's only fitting that the 3 benefits of the HFW programs, cancel out these barriers.Employers like Kaiser, Agilent, National Bank of Redwoods, Novato Hospital and the North Main Water District have developed a successful EAH benefits campaign and so can you. Housing benefits help build moral, retain employees and adds a new flavor to your recruitment efforts. Not only that, employers that are proactive in building good employee/employer relations are seen as leaders on the cutting edge of what's new and what's next for their respective industries.Still not convinced your employees would respond favorably to such a program? I would encourage you to devote 5 minutes of your time by asking them. Not sure how to do that? Email a request for the "Employee Homeownership Survey", to Denise.McCoyTilson@ReaRealtors.com.com.The survey only takes 4 minutes to complete. You will be amazed at the responses and well on your way to becoming a better employer.Think your employer might like this idea? Share this article with them or connect with me directly:denise.mccoytilson@rearealtors.com.

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