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Modern benefits and perks to increase employee happiness

It takes a lot of time and resources to attract the right talent to your small business. And once they’ve signed on, you want to do everything that you can to retain them. 

Keeping your team happy is key to retaining them at your business. There are many modern benefits you can offer to fit today’s world and the new needs of your employees. Here are some benefits and perks that can boost the positive feelings they have about your company.

Alternative health benefits

Many workers are rightfully concerned at how the cost of healthcare is increasingly being shifted to them instead of being born by their companies. This can prove especially expensive and troublesome to those with responsibility for kids or elderly family members.

Offering more health insurance reimbursement can distinguish your business from others. This perk enables employees to worry less about how they’re going to pay for care for their loved ones and themselves and focus more on the job at hand.

But you don’t have to focus on buying health insurance to take care of your employees’ health. You can also institute Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) through a third-party company. 

You deposit pre-tax funds into HRAs that your workers can then use for out-of-pocket medical expenses and health insurance premiums. Other than giving you tax advantages, HRAs are also cheaper than group health insurance. They can also be used in tandem with any existing plans you may offer.  

If you can’t swing the price of expensive premiums, offering a better sick leave plan is an alternative perk. This allows your workers to take time off to not only care for themselves but also for an ailing relative. 

Health benefits can also improve the physical and mental well-being of your workers. Take care of their gym memberships or hold free yoga classes at the beginning of the day. You can allow people to de-stress in the middle of the day by having them take an hour off to work out, run, or engage in physical activity.

Customized work times

Encouraging your employees to customize their work times enables them to juggle the demands of home, school, and your business more effectively. To help them achieve this balance at the most basic level, you can allow them to come in anytime during a specific range of hours as long as they put in their full eight hours.

A more modern approach is to make their positions task-based instead of time-based. Do away with time cards and work hours altogether. Instead, allow them to complete their tasks for the day however long or short it takes. When they are done, they can then get on with the rest of their day outside your business.

If you want your workers to use their time more effectively, allow them to work from home. They can try doing it for just one day a week before gradually phasing in more days. They’ll then avoid the stress of commuting and be able to focus more at work without having to worry about traffic or late public transportation.

Holiday time off

When is the slowest week for your business? For many, it’s the period from Christmas and before New Year’s Day. Many companies take this time to do end-of-the-year bookkeeping or inventory because their goods and services are not in demand.

Productivity tends to go down as your workers think about spending time with relatives, enjoying presents, and having holiday feasts instead of focusing on the job.

Closing up shop during Christmas week will not only save you money but will earn you the gratitude of your employees who can then spend more time with their families.

You can save on the salaries that you would normally be paying hourly personnel and your overhead costs will go down as you don’t need power to turn on the lights or run office equipment.

You may discover that productivity goes up before the closure as employees try to get their work done. Productivity can also go up after you reopen because your workers have had time to rest and recharge.

Volunteer days

Give back to the community by allowing your team to take a day off every year specifically for volunteering purposes. You can also set up company-wide volunteer days, which helps boost your public reputation and provides a solid team-building opportunity. 

Performance recognition

One of the ways that you can encourage your employees to perform at the highest levels is to praise team members in public. This signals that you notice their efforts and care about the job that they’re doing, and will also make you happier. Not recognizing them may make them dissatisfied and more likely to leave.

A simple way to get started with this is to simply mention the accomplishments of someone publicly or at your staff meetings. But be sure to be specific, so that everybody will know that merits praise. For example, don’t just say that John did a good job.

Instead, say that he helped increase sales by 30 percent in the past month. Your other workers will then have a concrete idea of what they need to do if they want the complement.

You can then move on to something more tangible, such as a certificate or a board in the office where you can put up the names of employees of the month. To offer incentives to other employees, you can always accompany the acknowledgment with a reward such as time off, a free restaurant meal, or additional monetary compensation.

Arguably the best way to recognize top effort is to set up a bonus payroll and that way be able to include an annual performance bonus at the end of the year. A monetary reward based on the profit that your business earned reveals to all employees how the bottom line can improve their finances.

Free refreshments

Keeping a small pantry or kitchen at your business can satisfy cravings for food or drink during a long workday. It can be well-stocked with free coffee, tea, and healthy snacks at minimal cost to you.

This perk keeps your employees in-house when they get hungry or thirsty so they don’t have to leave the office. It also encourages healthy eating to effectively restore depleted energy. You may discover that the number of sick days that they take goes down.

You can expand on this idea by throwing in a free lunch every once in a while to which all your employees are invited. Ask them to vote where they would like to celebrate this meal to increase their sense of control and camaraderie. Finalize your free-food perk at the end of the year with a big dinner that can also accommodate family and friends.

Education help

Your employees may want to go back to school to improve their knowledge and skills, become more effective at their jobs, and broaden their career horizons. However, tuition for many may be out of reach given increases from 26 to 40 percent in the last 10 years at private and public institutions.

In addition, if they return to school full-time, they may have to stop working at your or any other business, which is not financially viable.

It’s no wonder that tuition reimbursement is a highly valued perk by workers. Such a benefit makes educational improvement possible and allows them to keep working for you by attending classes part-time.

Retirement benefits

Almost unheard of with small businesses is some kind of retirement plan. Granting this benefit encourages your employees to stay because it will help them spend their golden years more comfortably. If you don’t have any kind of a pension and another company does, your workers are more likely to switch to the other business.

A retirement plan not only lowers income taxes for your employees but for you as well. You can match their contributions up to a certain limit and receive tax deductions. In addition, starting a plan may give you additional tax credits.

You won’t have to worry too much about the details. There are many third-party companies that can set up a retirement plan for your business.

Want more information on what benefits to offer your employees so they stay happy? Then check out the posts we have on our blog. For your convenience, they are organized by topic. You can also do a search if you are looking for specific information.

Are you searching for a better way to attract, retain, and manage top talent? Homebase offers free apps and resources for scheduling employees and tracking their time, hiring and onboarding, team communication, and compliance. You’ll spend less time on paperwork and more time on running your business.

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