Laurie Brednich, the CEO of HR Company Store, is an HR professional with more than 25 years of experience.

Companies, especially tech companies, compete for the best and brightest talent using company culture, benefits and perks as differentiators.

Most don’t have unlimited resources (i.e., money) but want to create a strategy that matches their values, inspires and magically transforms their organization into a “best place to work culture.”

Here’s the secret – programs that create emotional connections for employees, create emotional connections with your company. It’s that simple. Programs that touch the heart, the mind and the soul are the ones to focus on building – and there are suppliers who specialize in providing these services. Here are 3 ideas for creating emotional connections with employees:


Operating with a conscience is becoming the cornerstone of nearly every organization. CSR programs often center around sustainable business practices including benefiting the communities where companies operate and serve. These programs build positive sentiment for your brand and bring people together, creating connections and building relationships that strengthen your organization.


You can pick your friends, but you can’t pick your family, so the saying goes. Dealing with family issues causes a great amount of stress for employees. And when you bring money into the mix – forget about it, it’s a no-win situation.

According to EHSToday, 57.5 days a year are lost due to “presenteeism,” (which is coming to work despite illness, injury, anxiety, etc.) much of which is directly related to family relationship and money issues. Your employees will be grateful to you for helping them and their families.

• Dog therapy – no, this isn’t a therapy for your dogs (even though that is a most excellent idea), this is on-site therapy with a therapy dog. This breaks down the barriers and encourages employees to take a few minutes when they are stressed to relax.  And you get the same impact that you would have if you allowed dogs to be at your worksite – without all the loud barking.

• Caregiving – whether is children, parents, pets or a loved one that they are supporting your employees struggles every day to balance a chaotic home life with focusing on their workload.  Providing experts in these areas to help alleviate the stresses of these relationships. Whether it’s child day care discounts, dog walkers or even health advocates to help manage loved ones medical expenses, these programs help make their lives easier. 

• Money – student loan repayment programs, debt management programs, and financial advice programs help employees become financially sound.

• Domestic chores – sending a cleaning crew to clean employees homes or  healthy meals to an employees family when they are working late are all great ways to take one more thing off your employees plate they have to worry about.


Giving employees vacation time is not enough. Hold your leadership team accountable for ensuring their team takes time away from work to refresh, recharge and relax.  Set the expectation with your leaders that “work martyrs” are not welcome (we all know them, the employees who pride themselves for not having taking time away in years). 

And offer a vacation savings program as a benefit. These plans allow employees to plan for and save for their vacations. The best part is, as you hold company contests you fund that account for them and help take the vacation they dreamed about their whole life


This one is completely free! When you are walking around the office, be sociable, be friendly, be open! Host theme days, throw impromptu parties, have hippity-hop races around the office (for those of you who aren’t old enough to remember these, they are yoga balls with handles) it doesn’t matter how old you are, people like to have fun!

The first step is to find the right vendors to partner with. HR Company Store is a free resource for you to find, rate, review and solicit bids for these services and so much more (we don’t have vendors for smiles – you are on your own for that one!).


Laurie Brednich, the CEO of HR Company Store, is an HR professional with more than 25 years of experience. She has been part of or led employee benefits teams for such companies as American Standard, National Basketball Association, Pinnacle Foods Group , GoDaddy and Sprouts Farmers Market.