Reasons to Offer Employee Benefits, and Tips for Choosing the Right Benefits for Your Business

It’s easy to push offering benefits to your employees to the bottom of your to-do list, especially if you’re in charge of a small operation with a small team. Although it may be acceptable to forgo benefits when you first get your company off the ground, eventually, you should start adding employee benefits to the mix.

Employee benefits impact morale

photo credit: Alexander Suhorucov / Pexels

Offering benefits can sometimes be expensive and managing them for all your employees can be complicated, but they can ultimately help your business grow and thrive when you offer the right options to your workers.

It Benefits Your Business

There are many ways offering benefits to your employees is good for them, but they are good for your business too! It’s often these things that convince a business to offer benefits when they were hesitant before.

For example, employees who have health insurance are often healthier than employees who don’t, and healthy employees are more likely to come to work. You might save quite a bit of money when tax time rolls around too. The cost of employee benefits is tax deductible. In contrast, raising salaries subjects you to employment taxes. There are also benefits that are exempt from the Federal Insurance Contributions Act tax, like cell phones and moving reimbursements.

That’s not all! Paying for an employee to go back to school to learn a new language means foreign language speaking customers will feel like they are talking to a native speaker when they call, employees who get to socialize with their coworkers during fun days are more likely to speak up about a new idea in a meeting, and giving employees the ability to take time off to volunteer could win you brownie points with customers in your community.

Attract and Retain Great Employees

A successful business employs good, hardworking people. Unfortunately, good, hardworking people can be hard to find. You can make it easier on yourself if you offer benefits. That’s because good employees are more likely to apply for and accept a position with a company that cares about their health and well-being by providing a range of benefits.

Offering benefits can help you keep those employees too! Employee turnover costs U.S. businesses $1 trillion, and the cost of replacing just one employee can cost as much as two times that employee’s annual salary. With good benefits, your employees are less likely to leave and search for employment elsewhere, saving you time and money.

Increased Productivity

There’s a lot you can do to increase employee productivity, and it might not be what you think. Giving employees strict deadlines, piling on the work, and looking over their shoulders are not good ways to get your employees to give 100 percent while they’re on the clock. Instead, you should do things like train, incentivize behavior, and offer benefits.

It may seem counterintuitive, but employees who are able to take time off of work easily and often return to work feeling refreshed and motivated, ultimately getting more work done than if they sat at their desk for eight hours straight five days a week. Not to mention, offering benefits shows you care, and if your employees think you genuinely care about them, they’re more likely to work hard.

Make it easy for employees to take time off for appointments and vacations, offer plenty of breaks, and consider offering flexible schedules if employee productivity is important to you.

Happier Employees

No one wants to work in an unhappy workplace. As a manager or employer, you don’t want to either! A happy workplace is important to productivity, physical health, and mental health. Offering the right benefits can help you brighten up the office.

In addition, happy employees are more likely to have a positive attitude, they are more likely to show respect to you and their coworkers, and they’re more likely to take risks, enabling your company to think outside the box and leave your competition in the dust.

Happy employees

Start With the Basics

Convinced that offering benefits is the way to go? The best way to get started is to offer the basics. That first means making sure you’re following the law, as some benefits are required by national and state governments. That includes:

  • Giving employees time off to vote, serve on a jury, or leave for military duty
  • Offer the right level of workers’ compensation
  • Pay your portion of FICA taxes, and withhold those taxes from employee paychecks to support Social Security and disability benefits
  • Paying state and federal employment taxes that support unemployed workers
  • Comply with the Family and Medical Leave Act

Once these are in place, you should think about other benefits that employees have come to expect from good employers. Without them, other perks like free gym memberships and Nerf gun battles don’t matter. The basics include:

  • Health insurance
  • Dental and vision plans
  • Life insurance
  • Retirement plans
  • Paid vacation
  • Holidays
  • Sick leave

Once these benefits are in place, you can move onto the fun stuff. From free ice cream days to onsite health services, education opportunities, and pet-friendly office spaces, there’s no shortage of options!

Ask Your Employees About the Benefits They Want

Don’t make the mistake of thinking you know exactly what your employees want! For example, a free yoga class once a week might sound nice to you, but your employees may prefer a gym membership so they can exercise however they want.

Make sure you ask your employees when you’re considering new benefits. Ask them what they would like and see if you can make it a reality. Not only will they get to enjoy a new perk in the office, they will appreciate that you cared enough to ask!

Just because employee benefits can be costly and time consuming doesn’t mean you shouldn’t offer them! There are many ways benefits make your business and the lives of your employees better. Especially when you start with the basics and ask for input from everyone in the office when you’re ready to offer something new.

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