If you have the means to do so, consider offering your employees sought-after benefits like health … [+]
You know what they say: Employees make the business-world go ‘round. No? Nobody says that? OK, well maybe that’s just me. But, I’m willing to bet other employers think it.
Workers are a lot like consumers: they have options. And those options might mean that they shop around before accepting a job offer or staying with a business.
If you are thinking about how important employees are to the success of your business, you likely will pull out all the stops to keep them around.
I’m not talking about cold, hard cash. I’m talking about offering employees the benefits they really want—the benefits that’ll make you stand out in an arena of employers.
Employee Benefits You’ve Got To Be Offering
My company, Patriot Software, recently conducted a survey on how to keep your top talent. It covers things like top non-traditional benefits and reasons for disengagement in the workplace. Some of the findings were surprising. Others … not so much.
It’s becoming more and more apparent that throwing money at current or potential employees isn’t the be-all and end-all. In fact, bonuses are pretty low on the totem pole when it comes to benefits employees want.
Benefits are perks that employers offer employees in addition to their regular wages. Here are some of the benefits you’ve got to be offering:
1. Health Insurance
It might seem like a standard benefit, but not all businesses have to provide health insurance. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 69% of private industry workers have access to health insurance.
Small employers with fewer than 50 full-time equivalent employees do not have to offer employer-sponsored insurance, according to the Affordable Care Act.
Not required to offer health insurance? Well, your employees will likely be glad if you do anyway. You might even be able to snag a great tax credit (the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit) in the process.
2. Retirement Plans
Who doesn’t want to start saving now for life after work? Retirement plans are another generally traditional benefit employees are eager to participate in.
But here’s the catch: a number of small employers don’t want to offer retirement plans.
Setting up retirement plans can be a bit intimidating, especially when you’re busy. To help combat this, Congress recently passed the SECURE Act of 2019.
The SECURE Act aims to encourage small employers to offer employees retirement plans. It does this by making it easier for employers to offer plans and increasing the tax credit employers can receive for doing so.
So if you want to add this benefit to your employer offerings, now’s the time. For some bonus points with your staff, consider matching employee contributions, too.
3. Paid Time Off
What’s better than getting paid while you aren’t working? For workers, paid time off is one of life’s greatest joys. And, it’s one of life’s most needed joys.
Harvard Business Review found that 94% of planned vacations do wonders for someone’s energy and outlook when they get back to work.
But, paid time off doesn’t just cover fun in the sun. Employees may also need some time away from work to recuperate from sickness, deal with personal responsibilities, or serve on jury duty. If you can swing it, offering paid time off is a great way to boost your employer brand.
And depending on your business’s location, you may not have much of a choice. There are both paid sick leave laws by state and states with paid family leave. These laws require impacted employers to provide paid time off for sickness or family leave, respectively. If you are affected by these state-mandated time off rules, you can still offer employees additional paid time off for other situations.
There’s also the new Families First Coronavirus Response Act that temporarily requires certain employers to provide FFCRA paid leave (sick and family) to employees for eligible COVID-19-related reasons.
4. Flexible Work Schedules
Working 9 to 5 day after day might have been the norm last decade, but not anymore. Many workers have (or deeply want) options when it comes to their work schedules.
According to Patriot’s survey, 62.2% of employees want flexible work schedules. The freedom to work different hours throughout the week is a game-changer for workers. It lets employees accommodate personal responsibilities (e.g., doctor’s appointments) and foster a healthy work-life balance.
And do you want to know why work-life balance is so important? Our survey found that 24.3% of respondents blame disengagement and turnover on a lack of work-life balance.
If it’s within your power, offering flexible work schedules is fantastic. But, flexible work schedules don’t work out for every industry and/or position. Be careful not to offer flexibility at the expense of your business’s success.
5. Remote Work Opportunities
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: for employee retention, there’s no place like home.
Of course, you’ll have to wrestle a few alligators to get the kind of productivity you want (e.g., lack of team communication and technology problems), but remote work is definitely a growing trend.
If you want to put a smile on your employees’ faces, consider letting them work exclusively or partially from home. According to Patriot’s retention survey, 24.3% of employees are vying for the opportunity to work from the confines of their homes.
Like flexible schedules, remote work is really a case-by-case basis. Some businesses can offer it to their employees no problem. Others? Not so much. Again, it all boils down to your industry and the types of positions your employees work.
6. Employee Development And Trajectory
One of the greatest gifts you can give to your employees is the opportunity to better themselves. And according to a Gallup poll, 87% of millennials agree that development opportunities are important to them in a job.
If you want your employees to be in it for the long-haul, you have to encourage development and hash out possible career trajectory opportunities.
Development includes the skills and knowledge employees gain while trajectory is the path their career can take them. Why not give them both?
You can encourage development through things like training and providing education assistance. And, you can help employees envision their future at your company by mapping out career opportunities.
According to Patriot’s survey, a lack of employee development was the top reason for disengagement and turnover (29.7%). Lack of career trajectory wasn’t too far behind at 21.6%.
So, don’t be afraid to give employees what they want in a workplace. Think about what you’re able to offer. Not only can employee benefits reduce turnover, but they can also give your business a surge in productivity.