Why Houston’s ‘Most Beloved Boss’ offers Gusto Cashout to her team
Since Jess Hughes founded Citizen Pilates in 2015, she’s grown her Houston-based business to 15 instructors, six front-desk operators, and two locations (and counting). Recently, Hughes was named one of Houston’s Most Beloved Bosses by Houstonia Magazine.
We caught up with her to hear about the philosophy behind her success, how team happiness impacts the bottom line, and why she uses Gusto to attract and retain the best talent.
Employee happiness is key to Hughes’s business strategy. When it comes to fitness, Hughes believes happy, engaged employees create a sense of wellbeing that her clients can feel. Her team’s wellbeing “resonates while they're working in the studio,” said Hughes. “Our clientele, when they walk in, they can instantly sense it.”
For Hughes, her team’s happiness depends on their sense of financial security.
Financial security falls under mental health for me. We can't be mentally sound if we're worried about how we're coming into our next paycheck.
That’s one reason why Hughes was excited about Gusto Cashout, a feature allowing employees to access funds before payday, based on estimated amounts they’ve already earned. Hughes’s employees “really enjoy being able to have that financial freedom,” knowing that “they've put the work in … and if one of my employees needs to go in and get $500, they can go in and get $500,” said Hughes.
“They absolutely feel that Citizen is investing in their team,” said Hughes.
In addition, Cashout helps Hughes attract new employees and stand out from competitors. “I don't know of any of my competitors … that offer a flexible pay option,” she said.
That’s why Hughes integrates Cashout into her recruiting strategy. When she mentions Gusto Cashout to potential hires, “their eyebrows instantly lift,” said Hughes. She also lists Cashout in her employment advertisements.
Cashout is just one way Hughes leverages Gusto to support her team and gain their trust. When employees “get that onboarding email from Gusto, that's just one more physical note to them that this is a legitimate operation,” said Hughes. “They get their employee handbook, they get their employee policies, they get to list their bank account. They get control of that.”
In fact, Hughes calls Gusto her “back-office cheerleaders,” helping her create a team culture of loyalty and wellbeing. “Just the fun way that you guys deliver paychecks,” Hughes said, helps communicate “hooray, you got paid today! Citizen Pilates loves you.”