A right-sized student loan repayment benefit provides a win for both the startup founders and their team members
As an early-stage, self-funded startup, Know Boundaries needed an affordable and effective way to provide value to current and prospective employees. By offering student loan repayment benefits, they’ve shown their team that they care about their financial wellbeing and their growth within the organization.
More than 87% of eligible employees now participate and receive the Dolr benefit. Know Boundaries has paid over $10,000 toward these employees’ student debt.
After years working in corporate behavioral therapy organizations, Leah Adimik and Alicia Helbig knew they wanted to build a company with a different approach to helping kids with autism (and the people who love and care for them).
They wanted to put the client’s needs front and center. That meant being more flexible than some of the companies they’d previously worked for, who required families to bring kids to them within specific hours. “That doesn’t work for many families who have jobs and other children, and their child needs 30-40 hours of ABA therapy a week,” says Chloe Evans, the COO of Know Boundaries. “We ask families, what do you need? And then we do everything in our power to make that happen.”
That means the Know Boundaries team might be doing in-school therapy, in-home therapy, or after-school therapy at the clinic — and sometimes a combination of all three. Of course, all of that requires building a roster of certified behavioral therapists with the skills and the flexibility to serve their clients’ diverse needs.
The Know Boundaries co-founders were bootstrapping their startup in the middle of a pandemic. They saw a significant need for their services. As clinicians, they knew meeting that need meant hiring the best behavioral therapists they could find.
They couldn’t promise the highest compensation or the most expansive benefits package. They had to get creative. “Being a new company, we can’t compete with 401k matching and all of these benefits that we’d love to offer,” says Chloe. “We’re striving for that, but as a startup you have to take baby steps.” They needed to find ways to incentivize joining the Know Boundaries team (besides just being a great place to work).
We know student loan borrowers are more likely to accept a job offer when a company offers student loan benefits. And they keep those programs in mind when they’re deciding whether to stay with an employer.
We worked closely with Chloe to design a student loan benefits program that was sustainable for Know Boundaries and provided their employees with a meaningful benefit. “The Dolr benefit felt like something we could do that would grow with us,” says Chloe. “It’s not a perk that’s expected or common, so it has that special touch. It’s helping them achieve something and knock out that debt.” We could offer this to our employees, compete with what other employers were doing, and show our employees that we care and want them to grow with the company.”
Know Boundaries began offering the Dolr benefit to their employees in September 2021. The company now has more than 60 team members, a mix of part- and full-time employees. Since starting the program, over 87% of eligible employees are participating and receiving this benefit.
How much have these student borrowers received? Closing out 2022, Know Boundaries had paid over $10,000 toward their employees’ student loans.
And their team appreciates the help. “To feel supported in your financial wellness by your employer is a major morale booster,” says Daniela Rivera, a Know Boundaries employee. “It makes me feel as though I’m being looked after and cared for, not just another worker bee.”
Chloe and Dolr’s CEO Naveed Iqbal continue to communicate regularly about how to best support Know Boundaries’ employees. “He’s so open to feedback,” says Chloe. “I freaking love it. I wish everyone were like that because I can’t not provide feedback. If I see an area where something could be better, I just have to share it. Sometimes people don’t receive it well. Naveed’s like, ‘that’s amazing. Let me run with it.’”