Employee Benefits: Looking at Health Plans, Programs and Insurance for Your Small Business

One key area where small businesses can struggle to compete against larger companies is with employee benefits, but there are options available to help you reward and retain your workers.

Here is a look at some ideas that are realistic to implement for a small business owner and could make all the difference in keeping employees happy and motivated.

There is an overview of why it matters to offer employee benefits, a look at health and retirement options to offer, plus an insight into your administrative and financial options.

Investing in your employees and your business

It is always a positive situation when you manage to find some great employees who do an excellent job and make a meaningful contribution towards the success of your business, but it is never good news when you struggle to keep them on board.

Their reason for leaving can often be put down to a better package being offered elsewhere, which includes some added benefits on top of their salary, but many of these key people would be far more loyal and less inclined to jump ship if you were able to offer them an equally attractive benefits package.

One of the primary reasons why many small business owners don’t offer a benefits package is because they think they can’t afford to cover the cost, but it is not just the direct cost that you need to consider, it is the indirect consequences of your hesitance.

If you can keep a strong team in place by offering benefits it can often improve your bottom line and long-term prosperity, so it could be argued that offering things like a wellness program and other attractive benefits will prove to be a worthwhile investment in the future of your business.

 

Look beyond the basics

 

If you were treating your employees by the book there are certain benefits that you have to offer them like time off for public service and Federal Family and Medical Leave (FMLA) but you don’t have to offer paid vacations, sick leave or dental plans, amongst others.

When you look through a list of basic benefits that you have to offer your employees and then look at the standard benefits that are not required by law but are invariably offered as a standard benefit, you quickly realize that doing the bare minimum for your workers is not an option if you want anyone to come and work for you and stay with you.

Most employers provide paid holidays even though they are not obliged to and it is this mindset you need to take when looking at what else you can do for your employees if your business is going to successfully compete for quality workers.

Looking after their health

If you are looking for a benefit that is considered to be one of the most valuable ones offered in the eyes of employees you would have to consider health insurance as being close to the top of that list.

Health insurance is almost universally acknowledged as being one of the most desirable benefits you can offer your employees, it is also something that many small business owners would think is too cost-prohibitive.

There are a number of levels and options to consider and how much it will cost you to offer this benefit will be dependent on the type of employee health benefits you choose to provide.

When you offer a group health plan to your employees there is a positive aspect to consider that can help with the overall cost. Tax advantages allow you to increase the value of your compensation package and you will be able to make an income tax deduction for the contribution.

There are two types of health benefit options which work well for small business owners.

A group health insurance plan, which is also known as an employer-sponsored health plan, or a defined contribution health plan allows you to fix your costs on a monthly basis by creating a defined contribution health plan.

Get some professional advice on the type of insurance plan that would be suitable for your business to offer to employees.

SIMPLE retirement benefits

A Saving Incentive Match Plan for Employees (SIMPLE) is considered to be one of the most attractive options for small business to offer to their employees and the clue is in the name, it is simple to set up and easy to administer.

This is a retirement plan that doesn’t require a mountain of paperwork and it encourages both employer and employee to put money into their retirement plan, which can be a 401 (k) or an IRA.

These are a couple of prime examples of the benefits you can offer employees and they are not likely to prove as expensive to provide as you might think, but they add a lot of value as far as your workers are concerned, and that could mean they stay with you and help your business grow.

Georgia Hayward writes about a range of health topics in her articles. Having worked in the medical profession for several years she brings insight into a variety of health related topics.