Have you noticed other small businesses offering great employee work benefits and wondered if you should do the same? While it’s true that offering great work perks can help you attract and keep top talent, you need to choose the right ones.
Choosing The Best Employee Benefits For Your Business
It can be tough to decide which work perks to offer. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the top 12 modern employee work benefits perfect for small businesses like yours. We’ll also tell you which businesses and staff members they’re best suited for and give you some tips for implementing them.
Let’s dive in.
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1. Early Access to Wages
Anearly cashout option has widespread appeal. Letting your staff receive a portion of their wages before payday gives them the flexibility to deal with unexpected expenses like car trouble or burst water pipes more easily.
Offering a Cash-Out Option
Homebase offers acash out feature as part of its platform. That means your employees can withdraw up to $400 in advance. The app then automatically withdraws that amount from their bank account on payday.
Signing up is easy, but the best part is that there are no hidden fees, credit checks, or interest because it’s not a payday loan and doesn’t cost you anything — it’s simply a hassle-free benefit.
2. Health Benefits and Other Alternatives
Many workers worry about how they’re increasingly responsible for thecost of healthcare instead of employers paying it themselves. This can be especially expensive for employees with young children or elderly family members who have a greater risk of health issues and high medical costs.
Modern Health Benefit Options
Offering better, wider, or more modern health insurance can differentiate your business from competitors. This perk can give your employees more security and lets them seek treatment sooner before minor issues become larger concerns.
But you don’t have to focus on buying the best insurance. Here are some other examples of job benefits that let youtake care of employee health:
3. Mental Health Resources
Mental health is a high priority for 50% of employees, according to Mercer’s2023 Health on demand report. The same report said 42% of employees are more likely to stay at their current job because of mental health benefits.
Promoting Good Mental Health Among Your Staff
You can promote mentalwell-being among your employees in many ways. Here are just a few of the most popular:
4. Flexible Work Times
If you have a business where staff aren’t required on the premises at all times, you can offer your staffflexible work times. That means you can allow team members to come in anytime during a specific range of hours as long as they put in a full workday. So if you run an auto repair shop where customers only drop cars off, you could let your staff choose whether to work early or late shifts.
Shifting Tasks for Flexibility
You could also consider making your staff’s positions task-based instead of time-based. That means only requiring them to come in and complete their tasks for the day, however long or short it takes. When they’re done, they can leave without causing problems for your business. This would work for businesses like salons and spas when tasks like haircuts and treatments may differ in length.
Flexible work hours are a popular perk for 18 to 30-year-olds who are more likely to be juggling school and work or have very young children.
5. Holiday Time Off
If your business slows down during periods like Christmas or Easter, consider shutting down for a few days instead of scrambling to find people who are willing to work. Productivity tends to go down anyway as your workers think about their holiday plans.
Benefits of Closing Down Periodically
Closing down for holiday periods won’t only save you money on utilities and wages, but can also earn you the gratitude of your employees who have more time to prepare for the festivities, rest, and see their families.
Before you offer this perk,ask your staff how they feel about it. If you get an enthusiastic reaction about having extra time off over the holidays, you may see a surge in productivity after your team members return from holiday relaxed and recharged. But if they would have preferred to work over the holidays and earn some extra money, they may be resentful.
6. Volunteer Days
Allowing your team to take a day off every year to volunteer can help boost morale and get them more involved in your local community. Plus, there are so many options that you can tailor your volunteering initiatives to your business.
Different Types of Volunteering Opportunities
If you’ve got a shop, you could auction off your products for charity. Or if you’re a mechanic, you could offer free classes or mentoring programs for underprivileged groups. Here are some additional ideas you could try out:
7. Rewards for Great Performance
One of the simplest ways you can support your employees is by giving thempublic praise. This signals you notice their efforts and care about the work they’re doing. But you can elevate this even further by rewarding your employees for good performance, too.
Communicating Praise with your Team
Consider posting your praise on your work chat or social media. Homebase’sshoutout feature lets you post praise for an employee’s good work on the app dashboard where everyone can see it. You can then accompany the acknowledgment with a reward like time off, a free meal, or bonus pay. Always be specific, so everyone knows what to do to get the reward. For example, instead of saying someone did a good job, specify that they helped increase sales by 30% in the past month.
Another great way to reward great performance is to set up abonus payroll. This is when you offer your team extra pay for good work. For example, you can offer an annual performance bonus in December on top of your staff’s regular wages or award extra pay throughout the year for achievements like exceeding sales targets.
8. Career Development Plans
PeopleKeep’s 2022 Benefits Survey Report revealed that around 72% of 18 to 41-year-olds consider professional development very important. And 62% of those in the 42-57 age range agreed with that as well. That means career development plans are something you can use to appeal to employees of all ages.
Career Development Resources
Try offering some of the following career development benefits:
9. Free Food and Drink
Keeping a small pantry or kitchen at your business can satisfy cravings for food or drink during a long workday. You can keep it well-stocked with free coffee, tea, and healthy snacks at minimal cost to you. And if you’re a cafe or restaurant, you can even offer your employees a certain amount of free food and drink or discounts on these.
Partner up with Local Businesses
When you don’t have a kitchen or fridge on site, another option is to partner up with nearby businesses for discounts. Many shops and restaurants will deliver to your workplace even if it’s a construction site or outdoor venue.
This perk comes with many benefits to your business. Employees don’t have to leave their workplace when they feel hungry or thirsty and it encourages healthy habits. You may also discover that employee productivity stays more constant when employees have access to drinks and snacks, especially toward the end of your team’s shifts.
You can expand on this idea by throwing in a free lunch every once in a while and inviting all your staff to attend. Ask your team members to vote on where they’d like to eat to make everyone feel more involved. On big occasions like holiday parties or business anniversaries, you can accommodate family and friends, too.
10. Help with Tuition
If many employees don’t have degrees, see if they’d be interested in going to college part-time. Further education could improve their knowledge and skills, help them become more effective at their jobs, and broaden their career horizons.
Plus, it’s a win-win situation for your team and your business. It’s more financially viable for employees to keep working for you and study part-time instead of quitting to join a full-time course, so you won’t lose a valuable employee.
But help with tuition is a costly perk. Make sure your team is invested in the idea and be clear about how much you can contribute toward their classes.
11. Paid and Parental Leave Policies
Most of the US workforce are parents, but surveys by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) show that only 23% of employees have access to paid parental leave. So you could make your business stand out to top candidates by making this perk part of your employee benefits program.
Parental Leave Funds
You can create a parental leave fund for employees by using and extending a state disability insurance program. Basically, employees pay a percentage of their paycheck into these funds every month. Once they want to take parental leave, they can claim wage replacement for around two-thirds of their normal pay.
Whatever you choose to offer, don’t get confused between employee benefits and rights. According to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), small businesses with over 50 employees must provide 12 weeks of parental leave to employees who meet the right conditions.
12. Retirement Benefits
PeopleKeep also found that employees of all ages think retirement plans are very important. And they’re an attractive perk for business owners too. If you match your staff’s contributions up to a certain limit, you may be entitled to tax deductions. In addition, starting a plan may also reduce the amount of tax you owe.
But don’t worry too much about the details. Many third-party companies can set up a retirement plan for your business.
Manage Employee Benefits Packages With Homebase
Small businesses need to offer benefits tokeep their employees happy, but it’s important to choose the right ones that fit your team and budget. Managing employee benefits can also be tricky, but Homebase can help.
With Homebase, you can use features like early cashout to help with emergency expenses, shoutouts to reward and praise employees, and scheduling tools to make handling paid time off easier. Plus, Homebase has a team ofHR experts who can make sure your benefits comply with state and federal laws.
FAQs About Employee Benefits
What Legal Considerations Should Employers Keep in Mind When Offering Employee Benefits?
Employers must comply with federal and state regulations when offering employee benefits. This includes adhering to the Affordable Care Act for health benefits, ensuring non-discriminatory practices in benefit offerings, and abiding by the Family and Medical Leave Act for parental leave policies.
How Can Small Businesses Effectively Communicate Benefits to Employees?
Effective communication about benefits involves clear, consistent, and accessible information. Small businesses can use staff meetings, employee handbooks, and intranet systems to ensure employees are fully aware of the benefits available to them and how to utilize them.
What Are the Challenges of Implementing Flexible Work Arrangements in Customer-Facing Businesses?
In customer-facing businesses, maintaining consistent service levels while offering flexible work arrangements can be challenging. It requires careful scheduling, clear communication with staff, and possibly staggered shift patterns to ensure business needs align with employee flexibility.
Can Offering Mental Health Support Help in Reducing Workplace Conflict?
Yes, providing mental health support can help in reducing workplace conflict. It equips employees with better stress management skills and promotes a more empathetic workplace culture, leading to improved conflict resolution and reduced tension.
How Can a Small Business Determine the Most Cost-Effective Employee Benefits?
Small businesses can conduct employee surveys to understand which benefits are most valued. Additionally, comparing the costs and potential ROI of different benefits, and consulting with HR professionals or benefit providers can help in making cost-effective decisions.
What Are Some Innovative Non-Monetary Rewards for Employee Recognition?
Innovative non-monetary rewards can include extra vacation days, flexible work options, professional development opportunities, public recognition in company communications, and personalized gifts or experiences that reflect the employee’s interests.
How Do Employee-Led Training Initiatives Benefit a Company?
Employee-led training initiatives can foster a collaborative learning environment, leverage the existing expertise within the team, and boost engagement by empowering employees to take an active role in their and their colleagues’ development.
Are There Risks Associated with Offering Early Wage Access?
While early wage access can be beneficial, it also poses risks such as potential dependency on early payments and the administrative burden it can place on payroll processes. Employers should ensure proper guidelines and limits are in place.
What Impact Does Offering Health Benefits Have on Employee Retention?
Offering health benefits can significantly improve employee retention as it demonstrates an employer’s investment in their staff’s well-being. It can make employees feel valued and more inclined to stay with the company.
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Joseph Odierno Buffalo
Joseph C. Odierno of Buffalo New York is a passionate individual working in debt collection.