With unemployment being at an all-time low, many businesses are competing with each other to hire and retain qualified workers. As a small business owner, you may be finding it challenging to be going up against larger corporations to attract qualified workers, who have the resources and capital to be able to offer better pay and more extravagant benefits. However, there are benefits your small business can provide to current and future employees to entice them to your business.
Health and Dental Insurance
Many employees are looking to work for a business that will be able to offer them and their families health and dental insurance. As long as your small business has no more than 50 full-time workers, you can browse and apply for insurance through federal or state online marketplaces, such as the Small Business Health Options Program, or SHOP; though to buy insurance through the marketplace your business must cover at least 50 percent of the cost of the premiums of employees (not counting their families). Other options for finding the right health insurance plans for your business include: third-party benefits administrators (Gusto and Zenefits), traditional full-service agents or brokers, trade associations, and insurance companies themselves. If your business provides health insurance to your employees, you can write off the costs as business expenses; if your business has fewer than 25 full-time employees, covers at least 50 percent of the cost of premiums, and pays an average wage of less than $50,000 than you could qualify for the sliding-scale tax credit, which will allow you to deduct up to 50 percent of what you pay on employee premium costs (not including their families).
Another benefit you can offer to your employees is paid time off or PTO. Paid time offer is a lump sum of paid days off per year that will cover everything from vacation time to sick days. This lump sum of time off, will not be as costly to your business as offering a certain amount of days for sick leave, personal time, bereavement time, and vacation time throughout the year and it allows employees more flexibility in taking time away for whatever they need. You as the owner can decide how many days you are able to give employees and whether the time off will be granted or accrued, with many small businesses choosing the accrual method of employees working the extra time to be placed in banked time off. This can be a cost to your business, however, it is a much smaller cost compared to the cost of hiring and training the replacement of an unhappy employee. For sick leave, make sure to read and follow your state’s guidelines for sick leave as you may have to follow different guidelines and requirements according to your state.
Your current and future employees will also appreciate working for you when you are able to provide paid holidays. Your employees would much rather be spending their holidays with their loved ones rather than being at work, but most cannot afford to lose a day of pay. You can decide which holidays you would like to offer to your workers, it would also be a great policy to allow a policy where employees can choose their holidays in certain instances; for instance an employee can choose to swap out having Christmas as a paid holiday for their own religious holiday, such as Hanukah or Ramadan.
Another important benefit that many employees are looking for is parental leave, specifically paid parental leave. You, like many small business owners, may steer away from offering parental leave as you feel it is an extreme cost to your business, though, a number of small businesses that provide parental leave argue it is not. Many business owners who offer the leave, claim that it would be rare for many employees to use this leave as you may get those who do not want children, already had them, or are not ready for them. Employees who would be utilizing this benefit would be a rare few, but they will appreciate having the option and it will again be less costly compared to the cost of hiring another employee. Also, some businesses give employees the flexibility to work from home full or part-time (if they are able to) for a short-time following the leave, to allow employees more flexibility after their children are born. This can keep businesses from avoiding the costs of hiring temporary workers and keep other employees from having to manage a greater deal of responsibilities with a member being out.
Offering your employees a retirement plan option is a benefit that many, especially your older employees, will appreciate. Many payroll service providers, such as local accountants, will offer low-cost payroll services with retirement plans for small business owners. Not only will the accounting firm take-away the headache from having to deal with extracting the payments for the retirement accounts, but they will be able to provide you insight and tax advice; you may also be able to qualify for a tax deduction if you provide contributions to your employees’ retirement plans.
With a younger generation now being the main workforce over baby boomers, your business will need to adapt and cater to the needs of these newer generations. One way your business can attract and maintain millennials and generation z is to offer flexible work schedules. You may offer your employees the opportunity to take half days here and there when needed or perhaps allow them to work from home once a week. A flexible schedule option will vary based on your business and it’s specific needs; for instance in a restaurant you cannot give the option to your chefs or wait staff to work from home, however you may give the option for them to work hours that are more flexible for their personal schedule.
Your business does not have to be in the food industry to be able to provide free meals and food to employees. If your business is an eatery, then you will be able to offer your employees some of the food you provide for free; even if your business is a tech firm or hair salon, you could still have food catered in once in a while for employees or have snacks and refreshments available for them to grab throughout the work day. Providing meals for your employees at your business location could also qualify your business to receive a meal deduction for up to 50 percent of the cost of the meals.
Casual Dress Code
A casual dress codes is another perk you can give to your employees that help your business to recruit more workers. Perhaps offering a day of the week, in which your employees can come in wearing jeans and a t-shirt or other types of casual attire.
Holiday Parties/ Pot lucks
Another low-cost perk would be to rent out a local center and host a Holiday Party for your employees, this will give them a break from the holiday pressures and appreciate making it like they are your family. This simple gesture of a holiday party could also make your company eligible for a business deduction, in which 100 percent of the cost is deductible. If your budget does not allow for you to rent out a space, you can use your work space and have all employees participate in a pot-luck allowing them to take a break from their work schedules to mingle with one another and relax.
If your business is, for instance, in the retail or food industry than you can also provide your employees with an employee discount. This will not only offer incentives for employees joining your business, but it will help to increase the sales of your business as your employees will be more inclined to want to buy products from you at the discount than pay full price elsewhere.
Bring pets to Work
Many younger workers are opting to have pets over children. As long as none of your other employees have an allergy or there are no federal or state requirements that forbid it, you can offer employees to bring in their pet perhaps once a month (as long as the pet is sufficiently trained and will not cause a disruption). You should use caution with this perk as other employees and/or your clients may be uncomfortable or have a fear of certain animals being around them.
There are a number of benefits that your small business can offer to help bring in new employees and ensure that your current employees will be happy, continuing to stay. It is best to meet with a small business accountant to go over your cash flows and create a budget to help guide you on what benefits you can offer to ensure your employees are kept happy, while your business stays out of the red.
Looking for financial guidance in setting up or revising benefits for your employees?
Schedule free consultation with us at https://chamberlandco.com/.