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What to Include in a Robust Employee Benefits Program

January 17, 2021

An Employee Benefits Program can attract and motivate your employees to work hard for your business. While wages are the largest component of hiring negotiations, additional offerings are also important. Together with a good work environment, your benefits program may be the difference between an effective, steady workforce or a group of dissatisfied employees that you continuously replace.  Consider the following when determining the best package to fit both your business and employee needs.

Retirement Benefits
The top choices are an IRA and a 401K plan*.  To determine the best fit for everyone, take into account business needs as well as employee concerns.  Additionally, carefully evaluate costs and ease of administration.

Health, Disability and Supplemental Life Insurance
If your company has many employees, a group health plan is necessary. Health insurance is the most critical benefit to people these days. However, you can go a step further by offering additional insurance options that people don’t ordinarily consider. Many insurance companies offer relatively inexpensive plans where employees share in the cost.

Flexible Spending Accounts
This type of program offers potential tax advantages for employees with little or no additional employer costs*. Employees direct a portion of their wages into these accounts to provide reimbursement of dependent care or select unreimbursed medical expenses. Employees may pay lower income taxes, and the company pays less in payroll taxes. Another option to consider is a Health Savings Account (HSA), which offers a few different advantages from an FSA. Learn more about these two options by reading HSA vs. FSA:  How to Choose the Right Pre-Tax Account to Offer Your Employees. 

Education Reimbursement Programs
Many employees are interested in furthering their education and feel valued by employers that support them in this action. If your business requires ongoing training in certain fields, it may be beneficial to provide partial or total reimbursement for certain types of classes. Employees enhance their skills, and you have a better-trained team.

Vacation and Time-Off Policies
Employees need time off occasionally for personal business or just a little relaxation. Having a policy that employees understand and that provides some flexibility is highly valued by your team. Many companies are even testing unlimited time-off policies that allow people to take days as needed, so long as people consistently meet specific work goals. This can be extremely helpful for working parents.

Benefits that Cost Little or NO $$$
Some elements increase employee satisfaction without costing additional money. For instance, an employee’s work environment and personal satisfaction are critical parts of a compensation package. Few people thrive in an environment that is emotionally uncomfortable. Here are some ideas that can help boost employee satisfaction:

  1. Make work meaningful and praise employees publicly for their efforts.
  2. Empower employees to make major decisions that impact their department.
  3. Let employees know what is expected with regular Performance Reviews.
  4. Provide flexibility whenever possible.

Ultimately, employee benefits are essential, and creating a program doesn’t have to be expensive. Employee trends point towards more flexibility to choose how to prioritize their time and receive appreciation for the work they do. While most recruiting conversations center on salary levels, ongoing employee satisfaction is greatly influenced by the extra things that come with their paycheck.

*Consult with your tax advisor about any specific taxation issues and concerns for your business plans. Don’t have a reliable tax advisor? Read our blog with Tips to Choose the Right Tax Advisor for Your Business.