Employee Benefits = Employee Loyalty?

Dianne Shaddock
August 8, 2012 — 2,068 views  
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Are you sending your best employees to your competitors? In the average small  business, six out of every ten employees are ready to take a job somewhere else.  If you want to attract and retain the best talent to accelerate your company's  growth, you need a benefits package that stands out in your industry. According  to a recent MetLife study, offering the right employee benefits can nearly  double workforce loyalty. For employees who weigh benefits heavily as part of an  overall employment package, it's worth taking a look at your offerings  periodically.

Here are some of the top benefits that employees expect:

1. Paid vacation time. At an average of eight vacation days per year, the  typical small business employee must work 38 days before taking time off. Can  your company do better?

2. Paid sick time. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, large  corporations are 16 percent more likely to offer paid sick time than are small  businesses. Small biz employees generally earn less than one day of sick leave  per month.

3. Medical insurance benefits. Both employees and employers spend chunks of  money on healthcare costs before anyone even visits the doctor. Workers expect  some form of health coverage, but keep in mind that you do not need to foot 100  percent of the bill. Many workers are willing to pay the entire cost of certain  benefits, such as dental or vision coverage, as long as they have the option to  enroll in them.

4. Retirement accounts. Only about 11 percent of businesses with fewer than  five employees offer retirement plans, versus 35 percent of small businesses  with over five employees and 75 percent of large corporations. You can match  funds or just allow employees to tuck away money for their golden years.  Consider SEP IRAs, SIMPLE IRAs or the traditional 401(k) plan.

5. Flexible working arrangements. Today's technology can grant team members  additional freedom while keeping security measures intact. About 44 percent of  small businesses let their employees work from home, compared to 9 percent in 1997. Depending on how your company operates, you may benefit from offering home  office setups, flexible start/end times, shift work or job sharing. If this is  your first time operating outside of a 9 to 5 schedule, establish a 90-day trial  program to see what happens.

Other notable employee benefits:

  • Paid and unpaid sabbaticals for professional learning
  • On-site/nearby childcare
  • Meals and snacks
  • Massages and other stress management programs
  • Tuition reimbursement
  • Discounts on company products/services
  • Parking spots
  • Community service hours

Typical employee benefits add 30 to 40 percent on top of wages, but the extra  investment can make your company more profitable in the long run. If you are  short on cash, let your workers suggest the employee benefits they would like to see. The  results may surprise you.


Dianne Shaddock

Dianne Shaddock is the Founder of Easy Small Business HR, and the author of the book," How To Supervise: What Your Boss Never Told You Before You Took The Job", a step-by-step guide for hiring, managing, and retaining your employees.