Austin Texas is known for many things: its music scene, great food, nightlife, and its appeal to millennials. As one of the fastest-growing cities in the US, there are people from all walks of life flocking to this Texas town to fulfill a dream. Austin is an excellent example of diversity and inclusion in action. As one of the 10 cities in the US with the highest deaf population, Austin currently has 30 businesses started by members of the Deaf community. Scan Mailboxes Solutions LLC is leading the way; offering a workplace where diversity and inclusion are not only goals but an expectation.
As a virtual, private mailbox service (similar to a post office box), Scan Mailboxes provides its customers the ability to access, view, and store all mailed correspondence, including packages, using a smartphone or computer. This valued resource found an instant demand resulting in rapid growth. To stay ahead of that demand, the organization realized the need for a good HR solution to assist with administrative support and time management. Taxes had become a huge issue, and Scan Mailboxes’ previous HR system did not automatically withhold funds, nor did it file quarterly federal, state, and local taxes. This resulted in time-intensive efforts revolved around corrections and penalties. Scan Mailboxes also needed a reliable onboarding and payroll solution. One of the key services offered by the company is a check depositing feature for its customers. The organization needed to be able to focus on the tasks at hand and not the tasks forgotten.
For CEO & founder, Ken Brown III, the #1 value-added by Zenefits was the ability to withhold as well as file taxes. Because of their previous experience, Ken wanted to make sure the solution they chose could correctly file tax paperwork as well as pay said taxes promptly. “Being in good standings was very important. One of Zenefits’ best features is that it is worry-free…it takes away the stress for us.” With features like onboarding and payroll, Ken, along with co-owner and founder Christopher Landry, can approve time-off requests and locate relevant documentation conveniently, efficiently, and quickly. Chris states, “ The challenge is making sure we comply with government agencies. With Zenefits’ help, we can focus on what we do best; customer relations and the needs of our staff. “.
The Definition of Diversity
Both Ken and Chris understand better than most, the needs unique to their community, and they value a partner who can offer functionality and features that allow their employees to participate actively.
Zenefits offers the ability to live chat with your support team. This allows the deaf community to participate.
Co-founder & Co-owner
With Zenefits, management can focus on diversity and inclusion hiring initiatives. Scan Mailboxes has hired more than 15 deaf employees and in doing so, created a unique workplace and culture. “Zenefits helps us make sure that as entrepreneurs, we’re not losing sight of the fact that our employees are supporting themselves and their families,” states Ken. With a goal to expand and provide more job opportunities for the deaf community, both Ken and Chris require an HR system that is as inclusive as the company ( is). As the 2019 Zennie Award winner for Diversity and Inclusion, Scan Mailboxes takes pride in the award and what it represents. They believe in empowering their employees. They also sadly acknowledge that there are some employers in the Austin community who shy away from hiring deaf employees. The hope is that by setting an example, Scan Mailboxes will see more companies moving toward the practice of inclusion when seeking qualified candidates.
Time is Money
For Ken, time management is one of his biggest challenges. He cannot imagine putting all the additional time, energy, and effort into handling HR, payroll, and taxes manually. Zenefits removes the need to hire a full-time HR administrator and allows them to focus on providing the BEST customer service. “Because, as you know, without our customers, we would not have a company to run,” Chris explains.
Employee needs are also crucial to the organization. Because all employees are members of the deaf community, they greatly appreciate the ability to obtain work and tax history information all from their smartphones. The mobility Zenefits offers give employees the access they need right at their fingertips. Many employees remember past employment experiences where the tools offered were antiquated and frustrating. Tools like punch-in time clocks slowed down the process and productivity. Employees can now request paid time off and access relevant paperwork conveniently. They most appreciate eliminating the ‘unnecessary need’ to reach out to managers directly.
Growth is the Goal
With plans to expand into multiple locations in and outside of Texas, Ken and Chris reflect on yet another reason why they chose Zenefits. The software facilitates the option to grow. Onboarding, payroll, and the ability to pay taxes in multiple states allow them to visualize their growth strategy. Both are excited about the future of the organization. Zenefits has provided an all in one, central location for information and access. The ability to rely on HR experts without the need to hire someone is again, priceless. Future plans require adding other valued Zenefits features like Benefits for insurance and 401k as well as HR Advisory to make sure they are compliant in the states that they expand. Leadership at Scan Mailboxes feels confident and comfortable about what lies ahead. And as a recipient of the community nominated, Austin Armadillo Award, they have cemented their place as a valued employer and business entity. As they continue to lead by example, Zenefits hopes to stand with them in partnership and in purpose, providing inclusive employment to everyone.