Updated: Jun 14, 2021
The success of every business or organization can always be traced back to the individual and collective inputs from workers in that organization. But workers need to be at their best to give their best at work. The COVID-19 pandemic makes it even more important than ever to pay attention to the welfare of employees.
Needless to say, workers' well-being must be taken seriously by any organization looking to be successful. Indeed, successful businesses invest in employee benefits a lot. If you are a small or midsize business owner, you may not be able to compete with the kind of perks that large firms and multinationals offer their employees, but you can still offer competitive employee benefits in 2021.
Here are 10 worthwhile benefits that SMBs can offer employees in 2021 without overstretching their budgets:
1. Flexible or Hybrid Work Arrangements
As the harsh waves of the pandemic begin to subside, many employees have already adjusted to full-time remote work. Recent surveys even indicate that the majority of employees that were forced to work from home during lockdown prefer to continue working from home or remotely.
Some workers today prefer seeking out new positions that allow them the flexibility of working remotely than return to the office again. Employers can take an assessment of things and decide if bringing workers back to the office is in the best interest of the company and workers or not.
There's also the increasing adoption of a hybrid work style, which allows workers to work remotely for some days and then report in the office on certain days when their presence is required.
2. Health Insurance
While many companies offer health insurance benefits to employees, a lot of their employees still pay for prescriptions, healthcare, and other medical necessities out of pocket.
Employers who do not offer health insurance benefits can consider enrolling employees in programs like Health Savings Accounts (HSA) and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA). Employers who already offer healthcare insurance can audit their offerings and improve them to cater to the unique needs of their workforce.
3. Student Loan Repayment Assistance
A sizable percentage of the American workforce struggle to repay student loans several years after graduation, even while working. Towards the end of 2020, the total student loan debt in America increased to approximately $1.6 trillion, with about 54% of college graduates and undergraduates struggling to repay student loans long after school.
Averagely, an American student who took out loans for tuition is owing $36,000. Employers who offer student loan repayment programs to employees can help make the burden lighter for employees who fall into this category. Some employees might also need graduate tuition assistance.
4. Providing 401(K) Plans
You'd be surprised to realize that up to or more than half of workers in the U.S. do not have retirement savings. According to the National Institute on Retirement Security, close to 40 million households have no retirement savings at all. And several among those who actually have retirement savings have made early withdrawals at one point or another.
Employees who do not have retirement savings will benefit greatly from an employer-sponsored 401(K) plan. And the good thing about 401(k)s is that employers can choose how they want to match employee contributions to a 401(k) plan.
5. Workers’ Compensation Insurance
Workers’ compensation is one of the smartest investments employers of labor can make — both to protect their employees and the company. This is even more important if your workers are liable to work accidents and injuries. To save yourself from always having to deal with the cost of medical bills and vocational rehabilitation, you can sign up for a workers' compensation policy.
Although some states require that employers must provide this coverage to employees, it is also advisable for companies to consider investing in it regardless.
6. Paid Parental Leave
Paid parental leave is a trend now. Some companies allow employees who become parents by birth, adoption, surrogacy, and otherwise to take several months off to adjust to their new domestic roles.
This way, fathers and mothers can create a healthy work-life balance and refresh before returning to the office. Much more recently, longer parental leave is now being extended to fathers as well. As a way to retain great workers and attract even more talented people, companies can adopt paid parental leave as a work culture.
7. Financial Wellness Program
In a 2018 Federal Reserve report that surveyed a lot of American households, it was discovered that almost 40% of American adults cannot cover a $400 emergency with cash, savings, or a credit card charge that they could quickly pay off.
Instead, 27% of those surveyed maintained that they'll need to borrow or sell off something worth at least $400 to take care of such needs. The COVID-19 pandemic makes things even bleaker for the average employee. One way employers can wade into the situation is by creating and enrolling employees in programs that improve employees' financial well-being in 2021.
8. Paid Time Off
Employees need at least one paid time off work every year. Some states mandate that employers give their workers paid time off for several reasons ranging from health issues to family needs and annual vacations.
Sometimes, what employees need to be at their best is some time off work. Employees who have issues at home or in their personal lives might find it challenging to perform well at work.
9. Pet Perks
Pet perks are gaining increasing acceptance in the workplace today. They generally include allowing employees to bring pets to work and offering pet insurance to pet owners. Some employees go as far as offering paid time off for new pet owners.
10. Career Development Benefits
In order to build employees and prepare them for leadership roles within the organization and the society at large, many organizations offer professional development opportunities to employees. This can be in the form of workshops, sponsored training, certifications, annual mentoring, and career coaching designed for employees. Everybody wants to move forward, including employees, and the best way to do that is to offer skill acquisition and professional development opportunities to them.
Are you an employer looking to offer a competitive employee benefits plan to your employees? You might want to consider working with a certified PEO solutions provider. Also, take a look at some important factors to consider when designing an employee benefits plan for your company. You can schedule a consultation with us today at The Mission HR to learn more.
About The Mission HR
The Mission HR is a leading partner in the PEO, HR, payroll, and benefits outsourcing marketplace. We provide a valuable service for small and medium-sized organizations and government contractors, serving as a trusted partner in integrated human resource (HR) compliance, risk management, employee benefits, employment practices liability insurance (EPLI), and payroll processing.