Many owners of small businesses might be thinking that offering employee benefits is too expensive and not necessary. However while not having employee benefits can save in the short term, it can end up costing more in the long run. Offering a mix of affordable benefits adds to your employee experience and creates loyalty and therefore longevity.
Why You Should be Offering Employee Benefits
Attract and Retain Top Talent:
In order for your company to succeed you want to attract the best talent - but this is not just about a decent salary anymore. Potential candidates are looking at employee benefits as one of the factors before signing on the dotted line. If your company is not up to scratch, they will sign elsewhere.
Having attractive benefits also shows that you are invested in your employees and what they can add to your company. And once hired, with the right benefits, your employees will be less likely to leave, ensuring you have a cohesive team, saving money in the long run on hiring and training.
Health Benefits Mean a Healthy Workforce:
Business.org reminds us that offering health benefits makes for more productive employees, saving money in the long term. For example, offering dental benefits means that a small cavity could be prevented from requiring root-canal further down the line - something that costs more and requires more time off.
Offering paid sick leave and encouraging your employees to stay home when they are unwell allows them to focus on getting better whilst not infecting other employees. And after all, a sick employee is unlikely to be a productive employee. Healthy employees lead to a healthier more productive business.
Increased Productivity and Morale:
Offering a range of benefits will allow your employees to get on with what they do best, without having to worry about illness, childcare or even the future. And with the benefit of retaining talent, you will soon have a loyal team who have spent time together and learnt to be productive as a whole. Offering rewards and treats also boosts morale, which in turn adds to productivity - after all you want a workforce who wants to be there.
But what employee benefits should small businesses be offering to make you stand out, attract talent, but still provide on a budget? Here are a few ideas:
Employee Benefits for Small Businesses
Flexible Health Savings:
Consider adding a Flexible Savings Account (FSA) either alongside a health insurance plan or even on its own. This is an account that allows employees to set aside some of their earnings to pay for qualified medical expenses, covering them when necessary.
It is a simple solution for health cover, in that employees decide how much they would like to contribute annually and the employer then pre-funds this and deducts it from their pay, allowing employees access to the funds when most needed.
Student Loan Assistance and Further Education:
Being in debt is a serious knock to one’s morale, yet student loans are often the only means for many people to access higher education. Offering to assist with student loans will help you attract and retain young employees who offer longevity to your business - particularly if you sign them up for a set contractual obligation to make good on the loan assistance.
Consider also assisting with further education. This need not be expensive university degrees but could include one or two short courses to keep your employees engaged and consistently upskilled.
Consider how you can make the lives of your employees easier with employee benefits aimed at families, removing the worry about constantly having to juggle. This could be in the form of an onsite daycare (which employees can contribute towards), flexible working hours and work from home opportunities.
Family perks could also include family days out to get everyone involved. This is particularly relevant in a small office environment as a get-to-know-you and therefore team-building tool. Another simple affordable perk could be a supervised kids movie night, giving parents a much-needed opportunity for a night out, boosting morale and securing relationships.
Discounts and Rewards:
Offering discounts and rewards show your employees that you value them and the time and effort that they put into your profits. These could be in the form of supermarket discounts, meal vouchers, access to fitness clubs or even travel.
Adding discounts and rewards will not only motivate your team but also increase productivity and morale and build a company culture where people want to work and be engaged with a healthy work-life balance.
Adding employee benefits to your small business can only boost your bottom line. Doing a little bit of homework can help you find ways to reward, motivate and protect your employees without breaking the bank, and perhaps save you money in the long term.