If you run a small business, you know how important your employees' well-being is. Unlike in larger, more corporate businesses, each employee holds a higher value and role within the company in a small business. While the company culture and overall work environment are crucial to keeping employees happy, most research has shown that there are two main factors that aid in the retention of employees: salary and benefits. You’ve probably heard the term “candidate-driven economy” by now, and it's true. With social media building more transparency around company culture and benefits, there is much more room for comparison. Employees won't settle for sub-par benefits, especially when they are bombarded on social media with other companies offering more.
Better Benefits, Better Employees
Work-life balance is not just for the benefit of employees. More and more research is showing that employees who are offered compensation and benefits that truly aid in their wellbeing miss 41% fewer work days, are more effective while on the job, and are more likely to go above and beyond their core responsibilities. Additionally, research shows employees who feel they are paid fairly and have a strong benefits package are 80% less likely to look for other jobs. According to the Well Being Index Methodology, there are 5 major considerations for employee well-being: purpose, social, financial, community, and physical. Benefit and salary packages should address all 5 of these areas in order to keep employees happy and satisfied on and off the job. The Great Resignation and mass exodus of employees may be seemingly over, but that doesn’t mean employees aren’t willing to shop around for new roles if they aren't feeling satisfied.
Which Benefits Matter?
1. Flexible Work Environment
A few years ago, the ability to work from home or choose your working hours was considered a rare privilege. Most people were expected to work from their office, 5 days a week, 8 hours a day. This isn’t the case anymore. Today, its actually expected that there is some aspect of flexibility in employees' working environment. A hybrid or work-from-home policy is expected, as well as flexible hours for many. That means, if an employee's child needs to stay home one day, instead of having to find a caretaker and pay for childcare, an employee can work from home and take care of their child as needed. It could also look like 3 days in the office and 2 days at home every week. Many small businesses allow workers to choose their preferred 8-hour schedule within a wider time frame. Research has shown that the desire for flexible work options spans all generations, including Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X, and even boomers. It's important that when coming up with plans for flexibility, you take your employee's lifestyle and work needs into consideration. If you can’t offer them the flexibility they need to balance their life, they will go find an employer who will.
2. Volunteer Time Off
Offering paid days off for volunteer work is an excellent way to incorporate the community factor of well-being, and inspire your employees to engage in philanthropic activities. Most companies with strong benefits packages include 2-3 days of volunteer paid time off in addition to the standard vacation package. Volunteer days can be organized by the company as a team-building exercise, or simply given to employees to be used at their own discretion. Employee research continues to show that volunteer work excites employees and makes them feel more connected to their working environment.
3. Wellbeing Stipend
A relatively new benefit that has become quite popular over the past few years is a well-being stipend. What does that mean exactly? Well, it can actually mean a few different things. Essentially, each month or each quarter employees are given a financial stipend to cover some expense that aids in their wellbeing. A common version of this is a stipend that covers the cost of a gym or fitness membership. However, more recently these stipends have been expanded to cover a variety of well-being costs. One public relations firm simply provides a stipend of $100 each month to be used as the employee feels is best suited. Some employees may put this toward a gym membership, while others might get a massage or treat themselves to a manicure. This leaves room for employees to define what wellness means for them, and feel like they are being personally cared for.
4. Home Office Set Up
If your small business is fully remote, you want your employees to still feel as much part of your professional environment as you would in an office. One benefit more companies are providing is a work-from-home setup. That either includes actual supplies such as monitors, ergonomic chairs, and notebooks or a stipend to cover the cost of materials that they can choose. A key focus of modern benefits is addressing flexibility while also creating a work culture. Having a proper setup will make your employees feel important, and also ensure they have an environment that sets them up for success and comfort throughout the day.
5. Insurance Coverage
Insurance coverage is one of the most important benefits you can provide your employees. While some small businesses can’t afford to cover 100% of coverage for all employees, a large portion of your beneits should be allocated to funding as much as possible. Insurance coverage is a financial burden for most families in America, and 50% of Americans consider the insurance plan when making a job decision. This will also be taken into consideration for Americans who are on the verge of taking a new position and leaving their current one. Make sure that your business covers as much as possible. If you don’t have the funds to do so, ensure the rest of your benefits package makes up for it.
Understand Your Benefits Options with ECBM
Wanting to improve your benefits package or unsure of whether or not you have the best coverage for your employees? ECBM is happy to consult with your on your benefits and walk you through where you could improve. We have the experience and knowledge in the industry and update you on what trends are happening in the market that you should be incorporating. Plus, we make sure you get the best coverage at a fair price. For more information on our services, contact one of our agents.