How Employee Benefits Can Help You and Your Employees
It is safe to say that today’s CEOs and business leaders face economic challenges unlike any other point in our history. With the ever-evolving marketplace, government regulations and tax structures that penalize a company for doing well, often it is hard to take the time to focus on the best part of your business – the employees.
Today, more than ever, taking advantage of tax incentive benefits can not only lead to a better bottom line, but it also can be the difference between having a smarter, more efficient workforce and settling with second best. With increasing healthcare costs, inflation going through the roof and personal tax rates skyrocketing with no relief in sight, employer-sponsored benefits are not only helpful, but are necessary for today’s workforce. Benefits come in many shapes and sizes, and it is critical to never buy into the “one size fits all” principle.
As an employer, you have the unique advantage of knowing your workforce. You and your managers interact with these employees, often on a daily basis. You, more than anyone else, have a duty to make sure to help put them in a position in which those employees can flourish and succeed. While you do have major influence over how well your company does, ultimately it is your employees that drive success.
In the last article we discussed how, as an employer, you provide what is arguably the most important asset a person will ever have, their income. We outlined how not only paying a fair wage for work performed, but also teaching the art of saving is the key to making sure your workforce remains financially healthy. Many business leaders take the stance that their employees’ financial health isn’t really their problem. I beg to differ.
The paycheck is only a part of how you can compensate your employees. Let’s focus on how employee benefits can be beneficial to both you and your employees.
Whether you are a start-up that is wondering where the capital to offer benefits will come from or you are a Fortune 500 company that has the means to provide whatever benefits are needed to recruit the best talent, there always is a question of what benefits you should provide.
Unfortunately, the answer to that question is not always easy. Often times, just offering a retirement plan and PTO package isn’t really enough to entice good employees.
Benefit plans come in all shapes and sizes. It is important that these plans truly do benefit the employees they are provided to. As I said above, you know your employees better than anyone else. You know how much you pay them, how many deductions they have and how they are able to contribute. Use this knowledge to help come up with a game plan for structuring your benefits.
A well-structured benefits package includes a variety of compensation- and non-compensation-based benefits. Most businesses offer a few of each type, the most common being some form of a 401K and vacation/sick time. Try to set up plans that complement employees at different levels within your organization.
For example, offering your employee more vacation time the longer they are with you helps build a sense of loyalty. Offering a higher match to all of your employees’ rewards encourages them to develop the discipline of savings. Then, of course, there are the options of a company cell phone, free meals, section 132 commute benefits and flex schedules.
All of these benefits simply reinforce morale within your workforce. Happy employees lead to better products and services, better products and services lead to happier clients, and happier clients lead to better bottom lines.
Many CEOs and business leaders out there are already well acquainted with providing benefits to their employees. But, being in these positions comes with the responsibility of more than just offering benefits.
You have the unique opportunity to greatly increase the quality of life for your employees. Take some time and evaluate your benefits offering. Don’t just look at it from the perspective of someone who has made it, but instead, put yourself in your employees’ shoes.
Do your benefits make the most sense for your workforce? These decisions can truly make the difference between having happy employees, and people that just work for you because it’s a job. In the next part of this series we will go more in-depth about how particular benefits impact your business and your employees.