Fresno small business hopes to increase employee retention with the help of CalSavers

For Mark Gisler and his family, a lack of good assisted living facilities in his area spurred two generations of Gislers to make their mark on the care home industry in Northern California—and to create a workplace where employees can feel like family.

When Mark’s grandmother Ruby received a heartbreaking Alzheimer’s Disease diagnosis, his mother took on the role of caregiver while they searched for more permanent accommodations. They never found a place they trusted, so Mark’s mom started her own care home in San Francisco. While Mark was in college, he would help his mom run her facility. This experience would later inspire his own small business venture. When Mark started to grow his own family, he decided to follow in her footsteps and opened Ruby’s Valley Care Home in Fresno, Calif.

Since 1996, Mark has carried on the values that drove his parents to open their facility into his own business as much as he can. Ruby’s Valley Care Home is a 50-bed facility that houses individuals who are faced with addiction, behavioral and legal issues. He wants to provide a family-like setting for residents and employees alike, however short their stay may be. With the residents, he finds it is easy.

“It’s as simple as treating others the way you would want to be treated. You know, the golden rule,” explained Mark.

But, when it comes to his employees, Mark found it’s not as straightforward to give his employees the benefits he’d like to in order to foster more loyalty among his team. Mark has about 40 employees and providing them with traditional benefits is something his business just can’t afford right now. After several employees approached him with concerns about their ability to save for retirement, he started looking into retirement plans, but it was going to cost him thousands of dollars just to set up a program.

Time was running out for Mark to find a solution that worked for both him and his much-valued employees as he was starting to lose them to jobs where they could access a retirement savings account.

“We lose a lot of employees because we can’t afford to offer retirement benefits,” Mark explained. But he understood where they are coming from because, “people have to put the needs of themselves and their families first, and we couldn’t fulfill those needs.”

Fortunately, one of his employees joined Small Business Majority at an event where we shared information about CalSavers. She reported back to Mark what she learned about the new state-sponsored retirement savings program and how it was launching a pilot program for select employers to try out CalSavers before its official launch this year. Mark jumped on this information and was able to enroll himself and his employees. He’s thrilled he can now give his employees more power over their future.  

Mark’s employees have been automatically enrolled in the CalSavers program at no cost to the business, and they can start saving on their terms immediately. Mark has already heard great feedback from his employees and knows he will see the long-term benefits through increased employee retention.

He can now proudly say, “If you want to work for a more family-oriented company, come work with us.”

Small Business Profile