Successful Companies Gain Profits by Adding Employee Benefits

What recession?

That's how employers from Florida to Vermont to California feel after seeing their revenue double and triple in the past two years.

At a time when companies are cutting jobs, Dealer.com, a Burlington, Vt.,-based developer of websites and online marketing tools for car dealerships and manufacturers, has added more than 150 employees, bringing their roster up to 420.

CEO Mark Bonfigli believes that employee wellness and workforce productivity are directly linked, so Dealer.com has a full on-site gym and tennis court, a subsidized local/organic "Dot Calm Café" and weekly chair massages. And they're adding a yoga studio, a solarium and a rooftop vegetable garden.Miami businessman Max Borges subscribes to the same philosophy. "When you feel good physically," the triathlete says, "you feel good mentally." So his company, which does public relations for the consumer electronics industry, also boasts employee benefits such as an on site gym, as well as fitness classes and reimbursement for athletic competition entry fees. As a result, the Max Borges Agency was named one of the "Best Places to Work" by Outside magazine.

Borges also motivates his employees by sharing his profits with them. "They don't feel like, 'Oh, I'm just getting my boss rich,'" he says. "They act more like owners. Not only do they work harder, they work smarter."

The proof, however, is in the profits. With his company's revenues up by 58% this year, MBA was selected by Inc. magazine in 2009 and 2010 as one of the fastest-growing private companies in America. Borges rewarded his 27 employees by taking them on a cruise to the Bahamas.

Across the country in San Francisco, Bibby Gignilliat gave her team a luxury weekend after seeing an 80% increase in her business, Parties that Cook, which stages hands-on cooking parties and corporate team-building events for fortune 500 companies like Apple, Google, PayPal, Wells Fargo and Facebook. Since she started rewarding her staff with equity compensation, she says, "My employees are more invested than my former partners were...This is my recipe for success."

Forget quantitative easing. These employers have figured out that the way to bring back the economy with this simple equation: profit-sharing = profit-earning. It's the perfect marriage of socialism and capitalism -- a profit not without honor.

"Most companies do it backwards," Borges says. "When you decrease their pay to increase profit, you take away their incentives." He adds, "People think, 'That will work for him, but not me,' but it will work for any situation."

Including the American economy.

And that, my friends, is The Upside.

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