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The Small Business Guide to Benefits

Posted on: July 7, 2020

As a small business owner, you have probably worried about how to provide enough benefits to keep your best employees on your team. At times it can be difficult to compete with a Fortune 500 company which seem to have an almost unlimited well of money to draw from for platinum healthcare, company cars, and a break room with free breakfast. Luckily, employees know that there is an advantage to working for a smaller company: you get to work with a small group of people who know and care about you, and who strive to make your work environment a great one with that added personal touch. So how do you provide adequate benefits for these employees who are seeking out a small business culture? Here are some cost-effective ways to remind your team that you care, without breaking the bank.

Work-From-Home Options

Don’t force good employees to quit just because they have to care for a child or a parent, or because they cannot manage the commute. During the COVID-19 pandemic we have seen an influx of companies adopting a remote-working model, and many can attest to the positive impact of allowing employees to work from anywhere at any time. Though setting an employee up to work from home as a smaller business can be daunting, with a few ground rules and some minor investments in equipment and software, you might find it easier than you would expect. If your company does work that can be done remotely, creating work-from-home positions can attract employees that otherwise might not have applied, and help you retain workers whose circumstances may have changed.

Unlimited Vacation

It might seem counter-intuitive on the surface, but unlimited vacation comes with many advantages. Unlimited vacation saves money by not carrying unused vacation time on your balance sheet, and by conserving HR hours that would otherwise be allocated to tracking and managing employee vacation time. It also increases employee happiness and shows your team that you trust them. Similar to working from home, there are some clear expectations and guidelines that are critical to set, but otherwise transitioning to an unlimited vacation model can be done without taking up too many additional resources.

Providing Health and Wellness Initiatives

Health and wellness initiatives can be allocated in a variety of ways, like in the form of reimbursements for gym memberships, providing healthy snacks in the break room, or hosting a weekly “yoga hour” in the office. Regardless of how you present them, these low-intensity investments in employee health and wellness provide their own host of benefits. With so many ways to approach these perks, your business can choose the plan that best aligns with your goals.

Rethink Your Health Insurance

If you have not changed health insurance providers in the last few years, or if your employees are individually insured, think about new insurance options. See whether you qualify for the SHOP Marketplace, an Affordable Care Act program that allows you to search for health insurance at any time of year, not just during enrollment periods. Or look into private exchanges and co-ops.

Corporate Discounts

Finally, you don’t have to be a big company to have an account on a site like Corporate Perks, PerkSpot, or Fond. Employees will love finding deals on big expenses like hotels, gyms, and travel services, and small ones like movie tickets and groceries. Providing access to perks such as these can be a low in cost, but high in employee satisfaction, proving their value shouldn’t be overlooked!

Employee retention is as easy as showing your team that you care, and providing benefits shouldn’t be so steep an investment that you disregard the idea entirely. As small business owners, we are used to thinking creatively while still providing value, and your approach to employee benefits should be no different. We are here to help you work through any benefits packages you may be considering and to help guide you through other ideas. For more information on how incorporating these or other low-cost ideas will affect your bottom line, reach out to schedule a consultation today!


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