First, It Was College Tuition for His Employees' Kids. Now, This CEO Launches Program to Foot the Bill for Employees' Weddings.
Chieh Huang is the CEO of Boxed Wholesale, a company that strives to make buying paper towels in bulk seamless. It is all about efficiency and cost-savings. His business, however, is no indication of the kind of boss he is. Huang is about the most empathetic, big-hearted, generous boss you will ever find.
The 34-year old just announced that Boxed Wholesale is going to pay for the wedding expenses for all of its employees. This isn't Huang's first act of kindness toward his employees. Last year, Huang announced that he would start paying for the college tuition of the children of his employees.
Marcel Graham, a 26-year old employee working in the Boxed shipping fulfillment center in New Jersey, is set to be married in November. Graham’s mother has fallen ill, however, and Graham spent all of the savings he had intended to go toward the wedding taking care of his mother.
Huang stepped in. “We just felt like once someone is part of the Boxed family, we want to be there for them in their time of need,” he says in a press release announcing the new benefit.
What was right for Graham was right for all of the Boxed employees, according to Huang. “It then just felt right to extend this benefit to all our valued employees.”
There are 122 full-time employees at Boxed Wholesale, and all of them are eligible. Boxed Wholesale will contribute $20,000 towards each wedding. While Huang is paying for the college tuition of his employees' kids out of his own pocket, the wedding expense benefit will be paid for by the company.
Huang arranged for Graham’s fiancée, Tara Aucoin, to be at the fulfillment center when Huang announced he will cover their wedding expenses.
“It was overwhelming, that Boxed would pay for my wedding. I was in tears, and so was my fiancée,” says Graham in the statement from Boxed Wholesale announcing the new benefit. “It just makes me feel that they appreciate my work here.”
To be sure, taking care of the wedding expenses of his employees is a godsend for Graham, Aucion and any other Boxed Wholesale employees planning to get married, but also, taking care of his employees is good for Boxed Wholesale, too, since happy employees tend to stick around.
The precise dollar amount it costs to hire and train a new employee varies depending on the skillset and business, but one study from the Center for American Progress put the cost of turnover at between 16 and 21 percent of the annual salary of an employee.