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The Most Popular Employee Benefits for Service Industry Businesses

Employees laughing

Attracting and retaining talent is an important part of any successful business. For businesses in the service industry, hiring and keeping valuable human talent is paramount. However, it’s not always easy during trying times.

Savvy companies utilize employee benefits as a way of holding onto valuable talent. Thus, business owners need to have a clear strategy concerning the most popular employee benefits for service industry businesses.

In particular, this article will focus on the most popular employee benefits for service industry companies such as HVAC professionals, plumbers, home contractors, and landscapers.

Current Landscape of Service Industry Businesses

The onset of the COVID19 pandemic significantly changed the playing field for all businesses. In the service industry, many companies saw a dramatic shift in their operations.

For starters, service industry companies such as HVAC professionals, landscapers, plumbers, or general home contractors needed to adjust to the new safety concerns brought about by the pandemic.

For instance, common house calls became increasingly challenging as customers looked to avoid outside contact. As a result, businesses needed to reassure their customers whenever possible. According to the president of Bluefrog Plumbing and Drain Thomas Dougherty:

“All of our plumbing professionals have been fitted with gloves, shoe covers, and respiratory masks. We are also making sure our employees are building confidence with all homeowners and communicating that our focus is on fixing plumbing concerns while also keeping their well-being and our team safe.”

Indeed, a serious commitment to employee and customer safety is a core tenet of any successful business. During the current COVID19 pandemic, safety is more important than ever.

As Eric Carter of Bluefrog Plumbing and Drain in San Antonio, “As plumbing professionals, we have an obligation to take every precaution we can to protect our employees and customers and their family members. Their health and safety is our priority.”

Despite the evident need to prioritize health and safety, this concern is not the biggest issue affecting service industry businesses.

As per Peterman Heating, Cooling, & Plumbing of Indianapolis president Chad Peterman, “The biggest impact has been overall uncertainty with our team and with our customers.” Scott A. Cooper of New England Sales echoes this assessment. Mr. Cooper states, “Without a doubt, the biggest problem facing all of us right now is the uncertainty.”

Undoubtedly, the COVID19 pandemic has bred a high degree of uncertainty among service industry professionals despite advances in public policies aimed at reducing public health dangers.

The shift from the pre-pandemic business model to today’s “new normal” model has yielded benefits. A recent report by the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) indicates an 11% increase in 2021 second-quarter sales.

According to NKBA CEO Bill Darcy, “We’re encouraged by the findings from our report on the kitchen and bath industry, which reaffirms the longer outlook of the field as one of growth and strong earnings.”

Moreover, the same report indicates that roughly 60% of designers surveyed stated they have a three-month backlog. Additionally, 55% of businesses in the building and construction industry have reported no cancelations during the second quarter.

These data seem to indicate that confidence in service industry companies has regained momentum. Despite the uncertainty, the positive outlook is due to the business’s commitment to prioritizing safety.

Parthiv Amin, chief sales and marketing officer at Sloan, sums up this attitude by stating, “The health and safety of all of our employees is our top priority, and we are very proud of the proactive steps we’re taking to maintain their well-being.”

When attracting and retaining top talent, ensuring employee well-being is a must during these uncertain times. Therefore, successful companies in the service industry have taken employee well-being seriously.

Moving forward, prioritizing employee safety will become an essential part of maintaining a profitable business.

Best Practices for Service Employee Benefits

Acquiring the best talent in the service industry is a highly competitive endeavor. Businesses like HVAC professionals, landscapers, plumbers, or general home contractors know this situation very well.

In the past, companies could entice top talent with a competitive salary. Nowadays, a competitive salary isn’t enough.

How so?

A competitive salary isn’t enough to entice top talent. After all, anyone who’s in it for the money may not strive to serve customers. Therefore, attracting great employees must go beyond money.

Bruce Krinkie of Krinkie’s Heating, Air, and Plumbing believes that finding employees keen on making customers happy was more important than technical know-how. After all, he could train employees in technical skills. However, he believes that teaching employees how to make people happy is “next to impossible.”

The key to Krinkie’s success is his direct communication with employees. He puts his employees first. Thus, constant training and support are the foremost elements in his company’s approach.

Indeed, Krinkie’s mission is to care for his employees because they will care for his customers. This philosophy underscores the importance of putting employees ahead of the executives.

Nevertheless, Krinkie’s care for employees doesn’t stop there. The company offers many benefits such as paid training, 401(k) contributions, medical and dental insurance. The firm aims to incentivize employees through thoughtful benefits.

Joe DeWaele, a service technician at Krikie’s, had this to say about paid training benefits, “When you enroll in classes, you submit your invoice to the office, and you get reimbursed for the class as long as it is trade-related and benefits you in your job.”

Krinkie’s commitment to its employees also includes annual raises. Employees receive pay increases based on performance reviews. Additionally, employees get an extra pay raise for specific certifications.

Perhaps the most valuable benefit Krinkie’s offers is a sense of community. Employees feel valued and trusted. As a result, there is a feeling of family among the staff. Naturally, this feeling fosters a positive attitude among staff. Ultimately, customers get great service from satisfied employees.

Krinkie’s underscores how successful companies utilize employee benefits to build a positive work environment. Moreover, this example highlights how keeping top talent isn’t about making the most money.

Service industry companies may offer standard benefits such as workers’ compensation. Nonetheless, companies need to go beyond the industry norm.

Then, some companies believe attracting top talent costs money. Art Plumbing, AC & Electric of South Florida offers a $25,000 hiring bonus. This bonus aims to attract the best in the business.

Art Plumbing seeks to bring in the best in HVAC technicians, electricians, and plumbing professionals. The company’s ethos is to create a worthwhile career in the service industry. By offering a competitive salary, Art Plumbing can ensure this philosophy.

However, Art Plumbing isn’t just about money. Gregg D’Attile, Art Plumbin’s President and CEO, has this to say, “Our continued investment in our employees has led to phenomenal growth that has created immediate opportunities for adding additional technicians to the Art family.”

Indeed, investing in employees is pivotal in bringing in the best. D’Attile goes on to say:

“We’re proud to offer an unprecedented, generous hiring bonus as well as a referral program to attract the industry’s top talent. This will help all our employees grow both personally and professionally while allowing us to continue to offer the exceptional service Art Plumbing, AC & Electric has always been known for.”

This statement encapsulates the importance of valuing employees. Employee benefits should reflect a company’s core ethos. Companies that strive to serve their customers should focus on helping their employees grow and develop, too.

Employee Benefits and COVID19

The COVID19 pandemic has morphed the nature of employee benefits. Pre-pandemic benefits focused on personal and professional growth. However, the pandemic has now shifted the focus to employee safety and well-being.

Now, more than ever, employees focus on protecting themselves and their families. Thus, service industry companies must also concentrate on offering relevant health benefits.

Companies in the service industry have responded swiftly to ensure employee and customer safety. Mainly, safety measures such as protective equipment have enabled service industry employees to perform in-person visits.

Despite protective equipment and appropriate safety measures, employees may still be vulnerable. As a result, companies must understand what they can do to help their employees.

Generally speaking, workers’ compensation does not cover COVID-related illnesses. Specifically, workers’ compensation claims cover work-related illnesses and accidents. Thus, workers’ compensation doesn’t cover conditions such as the flu since these illnesses don’t count as work-related.

COVID19, however, poses an entirely different situation.

First of all, essential workers such as public transit drivers or grocery store clerks are now highly vulnerable individuals. The same goes for HVAC, plumbing, electrical, and home contracting professionals.

A total of 17 states have included COVID-related coverage into workers’ compensation claims. This addition is significant since COVID-related hospitalizations and treatments may represent a considerable expense.

Additionally, regular medical insurance doesn’t automatically cover COVID-related expenses. As a result, it’s important to distinguish between private health insurance plans and Medicare.

Medicare plans typically cover COVID-related expenses. Both states and the Federal Government have taken steps to ensure folks on Medicare receive COVID-related coverage. This coverage includes doctor visits, diagnostic tests, and emergency room coverage.

As for hospitalizations, Medicare beneficiaries can get coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Nevertheless, it’s worth double-checking to ensure coverage.

Private health insurance plans may vary in coverage. Generally speaking, private insurance plans, particularly those acquired through employers, provide COVID-related coverage. Nevertheless, basic plans may not cover long-term hospitalizations.

On the flip side, most health insurance plans cover preventive treatments. These treatments include diagnostic exams and medication. Furthermore, Federal and state governments have assured free access to vaccines.

However, one question remains: what can service-industry companies do to help their employees further?

Besides providing health insurance, businesses can offer various alternatives.

Firstly, companies can focus on supporting their employees’ mental and emotional health. These trying times have taken their toll on employees. W—activities employees work from home or not, stress is a serious concern.

Businesses can offer counseling sessions at their employees’ convenience. These sessions can help staff find ways of coping with unusually high levels of stress.

Secondly, service industry companies can foster their staff’s physical health. Activities such as paid online memberships to fitness clubs. If possible, memberships to in-person gyms are a great way to provide additional benefits.

Physical exercise is a great way to help staff boost their well-being, particularly if they are recovering from a COVID experience.

Thirdly, plenty of companies now offer time off following vaccination. For some folks, vaccination leads to mild side effects. As a result, they may need a couple of days to recover. As such, businesses now offer additional sick days following vaccinations.

Lastly, service industry companies continue to invest in their employees. Providing ample training opportunities is a great way to help staff continue building their skills.

Some businesses have extended their training support to other non-business areas such as art, languages, cooking, or other areas of interest. The aim is to provide ongoing support while coping with the pandemic’s effects.


Service industry companies, now more than ever, need to support their employees. However, this support must go beyond the traditional benefits such as performance bonuses and training opportunities.

There are various alternatives in which companies can support their staff. In addition to health insurance, companies can focus on ensuring employee wellness. Therefore, companies must continue investing in their team.

Ultimately, companies such as Krinkie’s Heating, Air, and Plumbing demonstrate the importance of putting employees first. Their approach highlights their appreciation for staff. Thus, service industry companies must strive to manifest their gratitude to their staff’s hard work.

Attracting top talent is much more than merely paying a good salary. The COVID19 pandemic has illustrated how important valuing employees is. Consequently, successful businesses need to embrace this ethos.

Main takeaways

  • Attracting and retaining top talent in the service industry is not only about paying a competitive wage. HVAC, plumbing, electrical, landscaping, and home contracting professionals must offer additional benefits to their best employees. If companies take care of their employees, their employees will take care of their customers. Beyond health benefits, ongoing training and development opportunities are the most appealing.
  • The service industry is on the rebound following a tough 2020. The 2021 second quarter indicates growth across various sectors in the service industry. Plumbers, contractors, and retailers show increases in their sales data. Additionally, these professionals report a consistent client base.  As a result, professionals in the service industry seem to be optimistic about their industry’s outlook.
  • The COVID19 pandemic has placed considerable attention on health care benefits. As a result, service industry companies such as HVAC, plumbing, electrical, landscaping, and home contracting professionals have taken steps to ensure their employees have adequate health insurance coverage. Furthermore, the Federal and state governments have taken steps to safeguard COVID-related treatment and access to vaccines.
  • Service industry companies such as HVAC, plumbing, electrical, landscaping, and home contracting professionals must consider offering various benefit alternatives to top talent. Beyond a competitive wage, service industry companies must ensure they support their staff as they recover from the pandemic. As a result, businesses must get creative with their employee benefits packages.
Blog Commercial The Most Popular Employee Benefits for Service Industry Businesses

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