Updated: Jun 14, 2021
Bigger firms and large corporations usually have very minimal issues when it comes to offering competitive benefits packages to workers. Companies like Google, Facebook, and Coca-Cola have raised the bar so high that small and medium-sized business (SMB) owners seem like they're not even making an effort.
But these kinds of benefits plan reflect both the work culture and corporate values of these companies. And it's one of the reasons they have remained big to date. These companies also use competitive benefits plans to retain and attract the best talents. Every business that's looking to grow and become successful must put a premium on offering competitive employee benefits regardless of size.
Two things: employee benefits and compensation provide an opportunity for businesses to invest in their workforce and stand themselves out in the industry. So, for SMBs operating within the same markets as a company like Netflix — that offers year-long parental leave! — designing a winning employee benefits plan can look like a daunting and expensive undertaking.
But fear not. There's no cause for alarm; small and medium-sized businesses can also create competitive benefits plans that capture the interests and unique lifestyles of their employees and still stay in tune with industry standards.
If you`re a small business owner, here are some crucial factors you need to put under consideration when designing your employee benefits plan.
Keep the Company Goals in Mind
This is one of the most important factors to keep in mind when putting together a competitive employee benefits plan. The benefits you offer your employees should represent the culture and core values of the company. This is a good way to keep employees reminded of what the company stands for. Beyond traditional benefits like health insurance, retirement savings, pensions, and the likes, you also want to create and incorporate business-specific benefits that allow workers to perform their best.
Ernst & Young LLP, for instance, has introduced an 18-month parental leave for both fathers and mothers. This is for all cases of parenting and childcare including adoption, legal guardianship, foster care, and surrogacy. The company believes that employees are usually at their best when they come back to work refreshed, without stress, and pressure. In other words, they`re interested in promoting a healthy work-life balance in the lives of every parent within the employ of the company.
In your company, you can decide to grant a morale-boosting hazard allowance (if it is a dangerous line of work), paid exam or study leave, free gym membership to staff, or set aside a certain amount of money to be given to new parents. Note that you might need professional HR support to achieve this if you don't have a dedicated in-house HR team.
Consult Your Employees
It is always best when employees speak for themselves. To arrive at a winning benefits plan, you`ll also need to consider the preferences of the employees. They know where the shoe hurts, so they're in the best position to suggest what kinds of benefits they want the company to offer them. If the number is so much that you can`t interview everyone one-on-one, select representatives to speak on behalf of the rest.
This is very important because it assures you that you're hitting the nail right on the head and not planning amiss. And when it is time to roll out the plan, it's also a good idea to involve them. A small business that adopts this approach is definitely investing in its employees. What you should expect in return is increased loyalty and dedication to work, improved productivity, and a lesser rate of staff turnover.
What you do doesn't necessarily have to be popular. There are a number of perks (best customized to match the lifestyle and unique needs of your employees) that can be added to the traditional employee benefits package. There is no one-size-fits-all strategy, but it is important that the benefits you`re offering cater to the needs of your employees as much as possible.
Put a Premium on Value
In some cases, SMBs may be required to collaborate with third-party vendors to provide benefits like health insurance, pet insurance, workplace safety insurance, etc. These packages come in various sizes and types. Business owners will most likely want to save cost, and as such, will naturally gravitate towards the cheaper options. Well, such businesses may suffer more harm than good in the long run.
It's as simple as this; giving your employees the best is equal to getting the best from them. With this in mind, you should regard value over cost. Companies that retain the best skills and talents do not offer cheap benefits to employees. At best, you`ll retain them for as long as they`re searching for a better working environment.
Consider Working With a PEO
This is, in fact, your best approach to landing a winning employee benefits plan. You can't do any better than you have the capacity for. And that's why you need to partner with a Professional Employer Organization (PEO). A PEO can help SMBs like yours secure employee benefits plans that compare competitively to those offered by bigger firms to their employees. They have the might and network to bring together the best offers at a very affordable cost to client companies.
Along with these, SMBs will get comprehensive HR solutions and support services from PEOs. Partnering with a PEO is simply entering into a co-employment arrangement with the PEO company. They are responsible for catering to the welfare of your employees even while they are working for your company.
With access to standard HR support services like these, small and medium-sized businesses will be able to offer industry-standard benefits to employees.
Employees deserve the best when it comes to workplace benefits and insurance. Smart businesses know to make this a priority. Investing in the welfare of your workforce is a beautiful strategy for keeping your employees and attracting more talents. However, you`re better off with professional support as you design and implement your plan.
For assistance with employee benefits-related issues, you can reach out to us at The Missions HR. We are a leading partner in the PEO, HR, payroll, and benefits outsourcing marketplace. We provide result-oriented services for small and medium-sized organizations and government contractors, serving as a trusted partner in integrated human resource compliance, risk management, employee benefits, employment practices liability insurance (EPLI), and payroll processing.