NYC Office Space & Entrepreneurs Stories

Creative Ways to Offer Employee Benefits

By: | Published: October 7, 2010 | Filed under: Small Business Advice, Small Business Tools

All small business owners understand the power and value of offering employee benefits. However, many small businesses struggle with the pricing of traditional benefits.

According to the NFIB 2003 Small Business Poll on Compensating Employees, the most common benefits distributed by small businesses are paid vacations, health insurance, paid sick leave, disability insurance and education reimbursement. Numerous small businesses also offer pension plans, life insurance and even dental insurance.

Offering benefits have pros and cons just like any other business decision. So why offer benefits? First of all, a solid benefits package will often attract a higher quality employee who is looking for long term work. This can also help you retain employees longer and develop stronger employee loyalty towards your company. By doing what you can to encourage staff retention, you can prevent turnover which can be time consuming and costly. On top of this, benefits can be an affordable way for you to offer your employee more value, without an increase in salary. This has a serious tax upside to it. The downsides are that offering things like medical benefits isn’t all that cheap for small businesses, nor is it the easiest process to implement. It will all back out to how much you think your brand and employees can prosper with the added benefits.

Offering benefits shouldn’t be limited to the most common ones we all think of. There are plenty of creative ways to offer employee benefits to encourage performance and help company staff retention. Some cool examples of this are:

- Offering wellness benefits. Let’s face it. We all know that health insurance costs are on the rise, so why not encourage prevention? Offering your staff benefits like a paid gym membership can save on healthcare costs and increase morale.

- Transit benefits: Offering your employees parking spaces so they don’t have to pay for them out of pocket can help make a world of difference. Even in urban areas it’s possible to offer commuter benefits where your company provides transit passes. This can either be paid for by the company, or withheld from the employees pay pre-taxation.

- Recreation time: This works great if your company demands a high pressure workplace. Allow your employees to clear their mind and do something relaxing on company time. Even if it’s just 2 paid hours per month, this can help your employees unwind, recharge and come in feeling fresh and raring to go.

- Community hours: Encouraging your employees to get involved in the community benefits EVERYONE. Your employee can go support a cause the believe in, the community reaps the rewards and you can earn excellent publicity for your company in the process.

While trying to offer benefit solutions like medical, dental, life insurance, etc, isn’t very easy or cost effective, creative benefit packages can deliver a very similar value proposition at a fraction of the cost and hassle. A little creativity in demonstrating to your staff that you care about their well being goes a very long way.

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