A brief guide to employee benefits for SMBs

| February 18, 2019

It’s no secret that businesses need employees in order to develop and grow further. It’s safe to say that employees are, in fact, one of the most important factors in business success. Aside from ensuring a good cultural fit, proper work condition and environment, as well as competitive salaries, you must also focus on employee benefits, in order to ensure their satisfaction and their retention.

Some benefits are mandatory while others are optional. However, the more you take care of your employees’ well-being, the more engaged they’ll be. Therefore, don’t hesitate to include the benefits your employees will find valuable. That being said, here’s a brief guide to employee benefits for SMBs.

Make your contribution

Everyone will have to retire eventually. Your employees might be planning for this occasion on their own, using the individual retirement accounts (IRAs) to save money from their salaries and other incomes. However, it won’t hurt you to offer your employees an opportunity to enroll in an employer-sponsored plan. In other words, you as an employer make matching contributions to your employee’s retirement account.

In return, your company benefits from tax-breaks. The most known retirement plans for such programs are 401(k) and Roth 401(k) plans that the United States use. The way it works is that a percentage of an employee’s salary is automatically transferred to their retirement account. The difference is whether or not these contributions will be pre-tax or post-tax contributions.

Workers compensation insurance

Insurances are very important for SMBs, especially if you have employees. Employees who know they aren’t safe at work will undoubtedly leave your business sooner or later. Workers compensation insurance serves as a policy that will protect employees in case of injury at work.

Their medical bills and lost salaries are compensated by this policy, but in return, they forfeit their right to sue the company or an employer. This insurance policy is vital in high-risk jobs, such as construction or manufacturing. What’s more, the policy will not only protect workers but also your company. In addition, in worst-case scenarios, such as death as a result of injury, an employee’s family will also be properly compensated.

Other health insurance plans

Workers compensation doesn’t have to be the only insurance benefit you provide at your company. By offering additional health insurance plans, you can provide employees with more convenience. For example, here are a few insurances that will definitely come in handy.

  • Life insurance.
  • Dental insurance.
  • Long-term disability insurance.
  • Short-term disability insurance.
  • Vision insurance.

In addition, you can provide finance planning for families which is quite beneficial for employees who are planning to start or grow their family. That way you’ll ensure that employees are properly insured even outside work.

Additional benefits

As mentioned before, some benefits are mandatory by law while others are up to the employer to decide. A bit of convenience through additional benefits will do wonders for employer/employee relationships and long-term engagement, motivation, as well as productivity. Therefore, consider providing some of the additional benefits that are meaningful to your employees. For instance:

  • Additional holiday or vacation leave (PTO or paid time off)
  • Funeral or mourning time off
  • Additional sick leave
  • Gym membership
  • Wellness programs
  • Childcare benefits
  • Telecommuting plans
  • Travel or commuting benefits
  • Workplace perks (food, beverages, flexibility)

Additional benefits for employees are oftentimes considered as extra overhead costs. However, in terms of employee engagement, motivation, productivity and satisfaction, these benefits will also help your company grow.

Every small business should have their employees’ best interests in mind when it comes to benefits. Proper insurances and other benefits not only help employees, but also help your company retain workers and ensure their long-term engagement.

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Keith Coppersmith

Keith Coppersmith is an Adelaide based business consultant with a degree in Media Management. With experience in numerous small businesses and startups, he enjoys giving advice on all things marketing.