Offering Your Staff Benefits with Melissa Schneider | GP 203

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Offering Your Staff Benefits with Melissa Schneider | GP 203

How do you structure your benefits system for the therapists that work for you? Did you know that you could offer student loan repayments as a benefit that boosts therapist retention? How can you open a practice that offers benefits from the first month?

In this podcast episode, LaToya Smith speaks about offering your staff benefits with Melissa Schneider | Part 2

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Meet Melissa Schneider

A photo of Melissa Schneider, LCSW is captured. She is a therapist, writer, and speaker specializing in couples therapy and support for entrepreneurs. Melissa is featured on the Practice of the Practice, a therapist podcast.
Melissa Schneider, LCSW is a therapist, writer, and speaker specializing in couples therapy and support for entrepreneurs.  In 2019, she founded Resolution Counseling Center in Jersey City.  In 2023, she launched Cultivate Therapy to bring more specialized services to her community.  Melissa earned her masters in Social Work from Columbia University in 2006 and lives in Jersey City with her husband and twin first graders.
Visit Cultivate Therapy, Resolution Counseling, and connect with Melissa on LinkedIn.

In this Podcast

  • Offering benefits
  • Using health insurance for benefits
  • Future benefit considerations

Offering benefits

When Melissa’s practice doors opened, she knew that she wanted to create a great working environment for her upcoming therapists. She wanted to create a business where the employees enjoyed their work, felt taken care of, and wanted to be.

Melissa’s business uses Gusto for their payroll and they are able to offer their therapists a wide range of benefits without paying too much.

We knew we wanted to contribute, so we lowered the fee a little bit so that we could give the benefits, so you could plan ahead that way. (Melissa Schneider)

The therapists who signed up to work at Melissa’s practice knew that the benefits were coming from their first month.

In the first year, Melissa’s practice contributed 65% toward their therapist’s premiums. They knew that it was worth it to make something work that meant a lot to their employees.

Using health insurance for benefits

Between the first and second interviews, Melissa’s hiring team sends an information sheet out to the potential employees detailing how the system works, what they could be paid, and what the benefits are, among other things.

That’s helped a lot, even for us, just to be like, “Oh yeah, what are we offering?” (Melissa Schneider)

Some of the benefits that they offer, including some through health insurance, include:

  • Four weeks of PTO
  • Five weeks of PTO after two years
  • Six weeks of PTO in a management position
  • Life insurance which is covered 100% by the company
  • Pre-tax accounts
  • 401K in the third year and matching their contributions
  • Every two weeks they can earn a pay-period bonus if they reach their target sessions
  • Referral bonuses for bringing new therapists or clients in
  • Access to CEUs

And more!

We definitely phased in [most of these benefits]. I don’t think we had paid time off, like we had sick time … We phased everything else in, so each year we see how we do, [if] we’re over 20% profitable, and then whenever we’re over 20% we reinvest back in. (Melissa Schneider)

They wanted to offer benefits that were long-term for their therapists so it feels like a long-term relationship and investment with the staff instead of treating them like they just come and get their hours and go.

Future benefit considerations

Every year whenever there is leftover budget available, Melissa and her team discuss how they can reinvest back into the business and roll out more benefits for their staff.

One of the things that they are thinking of is to offer student loan repayments, which they can do through Gusto!

The interesting thing for owners is that it’s tax-free for you. You can decide, “I want to give some kind of milestone gift if you’re here for three years, we’ll put five grand toward your loans”, something that would feel like a real thing to stay for. (Melissa Schneider)

It’s better to offer benefits to keep therapists and boost retention than to continuously hire people who end up leaving. So, invest in your staff!

Useful links mentioned in this episode:

Check out these additional resources:

The Upside Of Building A High Volume Insurance Practice with Melissa Schneider | GP 202

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Meet Joe Sanok

A photo of Joe Sanok is displayed. Joe, private practice consultant, offers helpful advice for group practice owners to grow their private practice. His therapist podcast, Practice of the Practice, offers this advice.

Joe Sanok helps counselors to create thriving practices that are the envy of other counselors. He has helped counselors to grow their businesses by 50-500% and is proud of all the private practice owners who are growing their income, influence, and impact on the world. Click here to explore consulting with Joe.

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