6 Benefits To Attract And Retain Small Business Employees

Attracting and retaining employees is a struggle for a business of any size, but it’s particularly so for small businesses. With smaller teams, employers need to hold onto top talent whenever possible. That can prove to be a challenge, especially amid the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemics. One way to attract and retain talent is by tailoring your benefits offerings in a way that brings in more employees. The best way to start this process is by surveying existing and potential employees and Alltrust can assist you with employee benefits surveys. Employers can ask their workforce what types of benefits would interest them the most, then use that data to make benefits decisions. 

While each workforce may have specific interests and needs, there are some commonalities seen among almost all small business employees. Today we’ll discuss six of the most popular benefits that small businesses are using to attract and retain employees. 

Employee Benefits Insight

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1. Health Insurance

Health insurance proves to consistently be one of the most desired benefits among small business employees. This is due to the fact that healthcare is so expensive and unaffordable without employer-sponsored insurance. With the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic, having good health care coverage is more critical than ever before. This provides employers with an opportunity to attract new employees. Employers offering generous health benefits can compete at a much higher level for top talent. In fact, doubling down on health insurance might be a better option for some employers than adding other extraneous benefits that employees don’t need or want. 

2. Leave Benefits

The ability to take personal time away from work is an important consideration for employees, and, in the wake of the pandemic, employees may have more caregiving responsibilities than they had before. This makes scheduling flexibility all the more important. Leave benefits will vary by workplace, but they typically include paid time off (PTO), vacation days, and sick time. These types of benefits usually come with specific use requirements. For employers looking to attract and retain employees, expanding these benefits could be a great leverage tool. This may include allowing faster PTO accrual, providing extra sick days, or allowing for flexible scheduling. 

3. Performance Bonuses

Employees enjoy being recognized for their hard work. Failing to do so can not only lower employee morale but also affect your retention rate. Introducing performance bonuses as an employee benefit can be a great way to combat this. Performance bonuses will vary, but the general idea is to compensate employees in some way for a job well done. How this looks in practice is determined by the employer. For instance, employees might receive incentives such as gift cards, cash, additional PTO, or other perks, depending on the size of their achievement. No matter what you decide to offer, doing so can help attract and retain new talent. It’s important to note that before implementing such bonuses, employers should ensure compliance with any applicable workplaces laws regarding employee compensation. 

4. Retirement Planning

Financial security is an important factor to employees seeking a job, and this only grows as employees near retirement age. It’s also relevant to those struggling financially after the COVID-19 pandemic. Employees invest their time and energy into their work. As a tradeoff, many employees want their employers to invest in their retirements in return for years of service. Offering a 401(k) with contribution matching can be a powerful attraction and retention tool, as it demonstrates an employer’s investment in their worker’s long-term life. 

5. Professional Development

Employees may sometimes leave a workplace simply because they want other opportunities or need more of a challenge, rather than being solely driven by compensation. Additionally, surveys suggest employees have been putting off job changes during the last year, meaning a wave of turnover may be coming soon. Employers may want to brainstorm proactively about ways to keep employees around.

In other words, when it comes to top performers, employers should be reluctant to let these employees go. That’s where professional development comes in. Generally, this involves cross-training employees to other positions or otherwise preparing them to take additional responsibilities. This helps provide employees with more growth opportunities while still remaining in your workforce. Offering such development opportunities also signals to prospective employees that a workplace has upward mobility and is willing to help workers along their career path.

6. Wellness Benefits

Wellness is a hot topic in 2021, and employees are looking more and more for employers who take wellness seriously. Now with health consequences interwoven with everyday decisions, wellness is more important than in the past. In fact, through the lens of the pandemic, ignoring wellness initiatives may be interpreted as ignoring overall health—something employers obviously want to avoid. Different workplaces will offer different wellness benefits, but the main purpose of any of them is to increase employee’s overall well-being. For example, benefits may include mental health counseling, health breakroom snacks, gym memberships, fitness tracking watches, yoga sessions, or other wellness perks. When it comes down to it, employers want to feel like their employers care about them as individuals. 

This is also why we joined forces with eMindful, a company with the mission of delivering mindfulness to the workplace. They provide applied mindfulness practices that can be easily integrated into employees’ everyday lives. Learning how to be mindful in the workplace can not only increase productivity but also improve the overall well-being of your employees. We can help those looking to establish mindfulness in their workplace by getting you in contact with eMindful. 

Attract Top Talent Today

Knowing which employee benefits to offer as attraction and retention tools isn’t always easy. One of the best places to start is by surveying current and prospective employees, as the offerings are meant for them. Beyond that, the perks listed in this article have been shown to be popular among employees—making them a viable option to try as well. However, these benefits aren’t employers’ only option to help attract and retain employees. Reach out to Alltrust Insurance today to learn more about these perks and other potential incentives to drive in top talent. 


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