The idea of competing with large businesses for top-level talent can feel intimidating for a small business. SMBs (small- and medium-sized businesses) work with fewer resources and have limited budgets. They can’t set up departments, teams, and programs devoted to benefits packages in the same way that a larger company can.
At least, that used to be the narrative.
As technology has developed, it’s equipped small businesses with a variety of powerful benefits options. These can be instrumental in helping SMB owners attract and retain quality talent for their organizations.
Here are a handful of the best benefits that small businesses need to have in order to snatch top talent this year.
Table of Contents
1. Retirement Options
A retirement plan has always been one of the most common big business perks. Larger companies have the wherewithal to set up 401k programs for their employees. Fortunately, there are modern small business 401k options like Guideline that equip SMBs to do the same for their employees, as well.
This is a great way for smaller businesses to attract talent. A retirement plan sends the message that you’re invested in your employees’ well-being and long-term interests. This can foster a reciprocated sense of loyalty as your employees stash cash (matched by your company, of course) for their future needs and comforts.
2. Remote Work Incentives
Remote work isn’t a perk anymore. It’s a must. As companies great and small have adjusted to pandemic life, it’s become a necessity for employers to allow their employees to work remotely from home, a coffee shop, or other off-site options.
While remote work has lost its luster as an official “perk,” there are other remote-work-related benefits that you can still offer.
For instance, say you used to have a luxurious coffee bar set up at the office. Rather than simply eliminating that feature from your employees’ lives, consider replacing it with a home-delivered coffee subscription.
Paying for additional remote work expenses is also a good idea. From buying desks and chairs to subsidizing internet bills, offering remote work incentives is a great way to show your employees that you care for them, even when you can’t see them in person.
3. Flexible Work Hours
The concept of having flexible work hours used to be ranked fairly low on lists like these. That’s because most workers lived in the immediate vicinity of their employer. They were in the same time zone, commuted to the office, and operated on the same business schedule.
As time has gone on, though, companies have recruited people from a growing talent pool that spans across the globe. This provides access to a larger number of highly-qualified candidates. But it also leads to a more complicated network of time zones and workplace cultures and expectations.
This has made the need for flexible work hours, not just a perk but a necessity. Employers, even in small businesses, must be willing to allow their employees to work on their time whenever possible. If this sounds daunting, consider embracing things like asynchronous meetings to keep everyone on track.
4. Professional Development Initiatives
The modern work world is in a constant state of evolution. Technology, communication, remote work, and countless other cutting-edge activities are constantly reshaping how business is done.
One of the best perks that you can offer your employees in this ever-developing work environment is the ability to adapt and grow along with the change. You can do this with professional development initiatives.
A few examples of this include skill-based training, learning new technologies, and continuing education. Whatever form it takes, helping your employees continue to learn and grow shows them, once again, that you’re invested in their well-being.
5. Payroll Control
Payroll may not feel like a perk. And, to be sure, the simple act of paying your employees is an employer’s responsibility, not an employee benefit.
Nevertheless, there are aspects of payroll that can also double as perks and benefits. For instance, it’s helpful to have the ability to cash out a partial paycheck to cover an unexpected expense.
Historically, employees have had to wait until payday to be reimbursed for their labor. Now, there are third-party payroll apps that allow employees to take control of their own paydays. They can cash out partial paychecks in advance any time they need a little extra money in the short term.
This ability to give employees control over their own payroll activity is a great perk. It empowers your workers and gives them an added sense of financial security on a daily basis.
6. An Employee Assistance Program
Finally, consider creating an employee assistance program (EAP) for your small business staff. The nice thing about this kind of program is that there isn’t a defined way that it has to look or operate.
In comparison, something like a 401k package or flexible work hours are fairly well defined. When it comes to employee assistance, though, you can put together a program that helps your employees as much as possible within whatever resource restrictions you’re working with.
EAPs are designed to help employees and their families cope with a variety of personal challenges. These span the gamut and can include anything from mental health concerns to identity theft protection, addressing addiction, or even something as simple as maintaining a work-life balance. By helping employees find resources (and at times helping to cover the costs of those resources), you can once again show them that you’re invested in the long-term well-being of both your staff and their loved ones.
It’s difficult to find and retain top talent as a small business. However, putting together a top-notch benefits package is a great way to show your employees that you are as invested in them as you want them to be in your company.
So review the list of suggestions above and consider which ones will impact your employees the most. Then put together a package that can wow your staffers and helps you continue to snatch top talent in the year ahead.