Real small business benefits

There are many issues a small business owner has to juggle. The cost of employee salary and taxes is the largest expense. Finding and retaining good people for your team is one of the hardest to nail down. A small operation can’t offer the same financial compensation package a larger company can. The expense is what holds most business owners back from offering benefits like health insurance, 401(k), etc. A business owner usually has a very narrow view of what “benefits” really are. Here are some things to consider when creating a “benefit” plan.

1. Start here. What is important to your employees?

What a business owner thinks their employees want is not always the same as what they actually want. Is it always more money and health insurance? Not always. These are important, but most people would say that time off, especially flexible time off, is just as important according to a Gallup poll on the State of the American Workplace. People want to be able to go to their child’s class party, school play, or maybe leave early to celebrate a birthday or anniversary without having to preschedule it two weeks in advance.

2. Pay for performance.

Of course people want to make more money, but too often a pay increase is not tied to the performance or productivity of the employee. Usually it comes from longevity. Every business, especially a small business, wants to grow. A business owner that can tie some aspect of employee compensation to their contributions and the overall success of the business will find more motivated employees. The employees who aren’t motivated by it won’t be helping you grow, so you can part ways with them.

3. Employer-sponsored benefit plans are not always expensive.

Plans with AFLAC can be sponsored by an employer but paid by the employee. Even retirement plans like a Simple IRA are very inexpensive to the employer, but it gives the employee something of value that will help retain them as employees.

4. Staff meetings. Okay, I know what you’re thinking. How is a staff meeting a benefit?

We’re talking about things that will attract and retain good employees. This is one of those retention tools. Most people want to feel part of something bigger than themselves. Staff meetings are a great time to build morale and keep the staff focused on the goals of the company and their role in achieving those goals.

5. Show appreciation to your employees.

This is another, sometimes overlooked, benefit that a small business owner can provide. A kind word of thanks from the boss is a real morale booster that money can’t buy.

Why do people work? Most people would say, “To make money.” This is true to a point. But why do people quit a job? It’s usually because of something other than their salary, according to thebalance.com. A benefit plan should be more than the employer paying for health insurance. It should help the business attract and retain employees that are more productive because of their value and role in the success of the business. Big corporations don’t have the flexibility to create a benefit plan that can be individualized based on what is important to a particular employee. A small operation can be creative and use what may be seen as a weakness to their advantage.

The information contained in this page is provided for general informational purposes only. The information is not meant as professional or expert advice, and any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk.

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