A generous employee benefits package can go a long way toward attracting and retaining talent. But it can be tricky for a small company to compete with the chef-made lunches, napping pods and extravagant holiday parties offered at some larger corporations. Given that some job seekers value benefits even above their salaries, it’s important to ask yourself what benefits employees value and what you can actually give them.
Let’s look at three ways you can make your small business benefits package stand out and win.
Share in the growth
Small companies can see faster growth than their larger counterparts. Use this growth to your advantage by offering bonus structures designed to reward employees for meeting agreed-upon goals. Employees gain a sense of ownership and participation in the expansion of the company, as well as their financial future. The same principle can be applied to a profit-sharing plan, where employees reap the rewards of good company performance. Profit-sharing also has the added benefit of being an additional tool for employee retention when a vesting period is added to the compensation package.
Takeaway: When everyone benefits from company growth, you have happier, more engaged employees.
Don’t skimp on health benefits
Health benefits are paramount to attracting and keeping talent. In fact, many studies list health benefits as the single most important benefit employees care about. Offer a competitive health benefits plan, and consider paying a large portion of the cost for your employees. With the rising cost of insurance, hospital visits, dental, vision and prescriptions, employees will see a quality plan offered at a reasonable price as a true differentiator from larger companies and a real win in the long term.
Takeaway: An investment in quality health benefits is an investment in your people and will likely save you money in the long run.
This is where small companies can really set themselves apart. Your colleagues at a small company can feel like a second family. Treat them as such and you will have loyal, satisfied employees who are happy and willing to come to work every day. But don’t be afraid to let them know their families always come first. A family-first attitude is a benefit and probably less common than you think.
Flexible hours when needed and paid time off go a long way to relieving some of the stress that family emergencies, traffic jams, doctor’s appointments and other unforeseen circumstances bring. Larger companies simply cannot compete with the flexibility and empathy a small business provides.
Takeaway: Find the areas of flexibility that work for your business and your employees. Employees appreciate when you see them as trustworthy, capable people, not just workers punching a clock.
And finally, don’t forget about fringe benefits. While these technically may not feel like “real” benefits, company outings, free lunches, game nights, etc. provide a chance to build rapport, camaraderie and company culture, which is the glue that holds a small business together. These benefits can be incorporated into your business at any time and are a great way of saying thank you to your employees while always having fun.
Keep these recommendations in mind the next time you’re looking to update your benefits package. Offering employees competitive benefits that they value can lead to satisfied, happier employees and a working environment everyone enjoys.
Cam Goodwin is President & Managing Partner at HawsGoodwin Wealth, delivering financial planning and wealth management services that enrich clients’ lives.