Benefits are for small businesses too. For many small business owners, benefits seem cost prohibitive. In the interest of short-term gain (or just making the bills each month), a number choose to operate without a benefits structure in place. While limiting monthly expenses can help some aspects of the business, high turnover rates and dissatisfied employees more than outweigh the gain.
Today, more businesses large and small are creating benefits programs to attract and retain talented help. Benefits come in many shapes and sizes, continually growing in numbers firms compete for talent. Topping the list is medical care, yet staff members may also demand disability insurance, retirement plans, and more. The best benefits are better likely to attract the best talent.
Employees satisfied in the workplace, feeling compensated with a benefits structure, are more likely to perform better. That’s according to Aon Consulting Senior Vice President Joe Lineberry agrees, claiming that when employees feel valued attendance and productivity will improve. Great benefits improve retention as well, as employees will want to keep them.
The Simple Benefit Breakdown
Some benefits employers are required to offer. These include:
- Excusing absences for jury and military obligations
- Proper withholding and payment of payroll taxes
- Contributing to state unemployment taxes
- Compliance with the Family and Medical Leave Act (depending on size and location, more below)
Beyond these basics, many businesses are including additional benefits to attract the best employees. Today it is common to see businesses of all sizes offer extra benefits such as:
- Health and dental care
- Life, disability, and other insurance policies
- Paid time-off for holidays, vacations, and more
The types of benefits are limited only to the creativity of the entrepreneurs offering them. Competition dictates some companies may offer a combination of benefits programs to stay ahead of their peers. In addition to the types of benefits offered, ease of access factors as well. Simple processes for submitting vacation requests and accessing other benefits is likely to increase morale.
The Family Leave and Medical Act (FMLA)
Business size and operating state may require compliance with the Family Leave and Medical Act. Under the FMLA, employees are eligible for 12 weeks of leave, unpaid. These include welcoming a baby or adopted child into the family, attending to the care of a family member, and personal health concerns. The leave may be taken at once or non-consecutively. To find more about state-specific requirements, contact your state’s labor division.
Compliance and Oversight
Small business owners are subject to scrutiny from enforcement agencies. Small business owners often have limited experience implementing and managing employee benefits programs, and mistakes can be costly. The IRS and the Department of Labor have the ability to audit, fine, and more as enforcement tools. Before launching a benefits program or adding to an existing, contact a financial professional.
Creating employees should be viewed as an investment rather than an expense. Good employees can help your business grow and develop, and low retention rates can help keep you focused on what matters. Be sure to come back often for more tips on small business ownership, and information on other insurance topics.