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Giving Back to Your Employees: Why a Great Benefits Package Matters

Ray Silverstein, president of small business advisory group President’s Resource Organization, has said that there are specific benefits that good employees expect out of a job. Entrepreneur published his perspective that while medical insurance is at the top of that list of expectations, business owners should also be intentional about offering employees retirement plans, disability insurance, and life insurance as well. The reality is, only some benefit packages are required by law. These include withholding FICA taxes for the sake of retirement and disability; complying with FMLA; aligning with worker’s compensation requirements; and giving your employees time off for jury duty, military duties, or voting. However, it’s important to see why a great benefits package–including less traditional benefits like flex time–is key to showing your employees they have value. Here’s why.

Employee attainment and retention. 

Randstand US Research has noted that 61 percent of employees would consider accepting a lower salary if the company making the offer had a great benefits package. Forty-two percent of employees would actually consider quitting their current job and accepting a new one elsewhere because they are unhappy with current benefits. An attractive benefits package is basically viewed as a part of a salary offer and can, at times, make up for an annual wage that could be topped elsewhere.

Focus and attention. 

Employees who aren’t worried about finances are employees whose minds won’t wander as much at work. When it comes to long-term financial planning, the difference between feeling focused and committed to the job you have (instead of daydreaming for what position you should pursue next) can be rooted in a healthy 401(k) match, life insurance, or college debt assistance.

Loyalty. 

You want loyalty not just from your customers but also from your employees. Employees who feel seen and understood seem to know that their employer recognizes the number of hours they are putting in, not just in the office but on the telephone at home and during what was supposed to be a lunch break as well. At times, this recognition looks like the benefit of flex time. This may mean permission to head home early on a Friday, or permission to work some days remotely from home. Flex time also recognizes the pull of family circumstances on full time employees. 74 percent of employees say they have missed work due to a family circumstance. Employers who offer benefits communicate that they understand employees are also parents, children of aging parents, and simply “doing life” with people they love who have unexpected needs. 

Overall general health. 

Employees who have a strong health insurance package are more likely to see a physician when health issues arise. Instead of avoiding astronomical bills and giving a potentially treatable problem a chance to snowball, employees with health care plans, co-pays, and reasonable deductibles are less likely to put off important procedures and more likely to seek care when needed. This is where dental and vision insurance also steps in. If the numbers are doable for you as a business owner, you want to communicate to your employees that you fully value their physical and mental well-being.

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