Employees are the lifeblood of any business, big or small. It’s only fitting that employers should keep them happy and motivated. Having dedicated employees is a gift that some employers overlook, which often results in a sour affair.
Workers, especially top performers, know their worth and look beyond the number of zeroes in their salary packages. Employers would be wise to recognize this phenomenon and put their best foot forward when dealing with their employees.
Required Employee Benefits
As an employer, you’re likely interested in which benefits you can offer without hurting your bottom line. Some benefits are not optional. There are a few ways to meet your requirements and stay within your budget. Here are four government-mandated benefits you must provide as a small business:
- Social Security and Medicare: Social Security insurance acts as a cover for employees who are disabled or retired. Medicare contributions ensure senior employees’ health and welfare once they leave service.
- Unemployment compensation: This mandated employee benefit acts as a safety net for employees out of work. Employers are required to pay for unemployment insurance for all types of workers — full-time or part-time.
- Workers’ compensation: This benefit serves workers who get sick or injured at work. It serves as a cover to provide employees with supplemental income and medical benefits while they recover. Complying with local, federal, or international laws is a must when it comes to workers’ compensation and other benefits.
- Minimum wage and overtime: Employers must pay their workers a minimum of $7.25 per hour for services rendered. The federal government also requires businesses to pay a higher rate for extra working hours beyond the threshold of 40 hours per workweek.
5 Additional Benefits Small Businesses Should Consider
In addition to these benefits required by the government, companies can also choose to add other benefits to their workers’ employee packages. Some are considered industry standards, while others are add-on company perks that aim to attract top talent and retain them.
While paid time off (PTO) may initially sound like a generic approach, it’s actually quite effective. Employees who value work-life balance will appreciate ample PTOs to pursue other activities outside of work.
- Paid Time Off
While some workers value having extra time for recreational activities, others want to be there for their families when needed. Adding paid time off to your employees’ benefits can boost their morale and make them feel like their valued partners.
- Flexible Work Arrangements
The global pandemic has taught businesses worldwide to adapt to the new normal. While some industries need workers to report on-site, others are adjusting their working schedules to account for a change in employee priorities.
Work-from-home or hybrid work arrangements help alleviate some of the work-induced stress in employees. It can also boost your employees’ productivity since they wouldn’t have to go on daily commutes to work.
Assessing your industry needs along with your employees’ schedules can be a wise move, especially if you’re looking to improve the working conditions of your workers.
- Incentives for Growth and Self-Learning
One of the main reasons people quit their jobs is that they feel disengaged and stuck. Many workers value career progression above many things like salary and company perks.
An incentive program for self-development can motivate employees to upskill and improve their qualifications. This works both ways since top performers can learn new skills while employers can enjoy the added benefits of those skills that apply to their business.
It may be easier to present attractive benefits right away instead of starting retention efforts when your employees are already an attrition risk. A rewards program that celebrates employees’ learning new skills can be a game-changer for unsatisfied employees.
- Wellness Programs
CEOs also believe that wellness programs attract top talent and engage more employees. Small businesses can provide their workers with discounted gym memberships and host exercise classes to promote a health-conscious lifestyle at the workplace.
- Tuition Assistance
In addition to providing a rewards program for employees, businesses can provide tuition assistance to workers keen on pursuing further education. A survey found that 60% of respondents prefer a job with strong professional development over one with steady pay raises.
It’s a win-win situation for both sides as workers get the professional growth they’re looking for while companies benefit from their employees’ new skills in the workplace. To make things even better, employers can also benefit from tax breaks by providing tuition assistance to their employees.
Taking a Step in the Right Direction
Everyone counts in a small business, so business owners must consider ways to satisfy their loyal and most trusted workers. Adding attractive employee benefits to salary packages can sweeten the deal and smooth over kinks in employee-employer relationships.
Top talent turnovers can result in a dip in productivity, loss of potential customers and expertise, and overall stunted growth. Prevention is always better than cure. As a business owner, you should take the first step in ensuring your employees get the right benefits before they start looking for work elsewhere.