Providing strong employee benefits can be vital to the success of your business. Not only does offering them aid in your hiring efforts, it can help ensure employee satisfaction and loyalty. Offering good health insurance can be the difference between hiring the star candidate away from your competitor, or keeping a vital team member from wanting to switch careers.
With all of this being said, one may wonder why every company doesn’t provide comprehensive healthcare and retirement plans, along with a smattering of other benefits. The answer to this question is, like it is to so many, money.
Healthcare and other benefits are difficult and expensive to provide, making many business owners balk at the idea of doing so. Here is how you can gain an edge on your competition and affordably provide your employees benefits.
Utilize your Businesses Existing Resources
The simplest, and easiest, way to provide your employee benefits is to use the value your business already generates. This means taking whatever product or service your business offers, and offering it to your employees for free or at a discount.
If you operate a clothing store, consider giving your employees half of everything in it. If you operate a gym, let your employees use the equipment in their time off and allow them to have a personal training lesson each month for free.
These things may not seem like much, but they can increase employee morale and make your job listing jump off the page. After all, when you’re hiring your job listing is your advertisement, and anything to strengthen it helps.
Use a PEO
A Professional Employment Organization (PEO) can be useful for businesses across industries.
What is a PEO?
A PEO is a business that provides comprehensive human resource support to companies, helping manage business administration and employee organization. When you work with a PEO, you enter into a co-employment relationship with them. This means they handle some employment responsibilities, freeing you up to focus on the operation of your business.
Benefits of PEOs
PEO’s can provide your employees with many compelling benefits, including health insurance. They do this by utilizing all the employees they co-employ, not just the ones from your business, as leverage to negotiate rates with insurance providers.
This means they can get a better rate from insurance companies than you ever would be able to alone. PEO’s don’t stop at simply offering benefits, they are able to do much more for your business.
- Payroll Management
- HR Support
- Tax Filing
- Legal Compliance
Industry Leading PEO’s
The PEO industry has many players, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. Here’s a comprehensive overview of the industry, complete with profiles on all the industry leaders.
How to Select a PEO
Choosing which PEO to work with is a big and challenging task. When considering the options, think about which services your business needs the most and which benefits would be most compelling to your employees.
Each business has different needs, and what is common varies across industries. If your business has a complex payroll which you are struggling to manage, maybe a PEO with strong payroll capabilities would be the best fit for you. If your employees have been asking for health insurance plans and you have limited resources, maybe a large PEO with an affordable health plan will be the best fit.
When preparing to work with a PEO, make sure to complete do-diligence. Make sure they have a strong financial track record, and are either certified by the IRS or accredited by Employer Services Assurance Corporation (ESAC). Having experience working in your industry is a major plus.
Look at Your Competition
When selecting a PEO, your competition can help inform your decision. For example, if your two major competitors offer dental plans, this may mean you need a PEO which does the same. Inversely, if none of your competitors offer retirement plans, a PEO which has a strong retirement offering may allow you to stand out.
Benefits are Valuable
Regardless of the size of your business, the sector it operates in, or the product it creates, offering strong employee benefits are critical to its sustainability. In the current job market, employees want stability. If a business can’t help them plan for their future and protect their health, it is not providing that stability.
In order to retain your most talented employees and attract new ones, you need to provide meaningful benefits. Benefits are not the only thing of course, a positive company culture and successful business model are vital as well.
When thinking about benefits, it’s always good to think about the value your business already generates. Giving your employees a piece of that not only helps with morale and dissuades them from leaving, but it increases their investment in the company. It also gives a unique perk to working at your company which will boost your recruiting efforts.
PEO’s can provide some of the heavier hitting benefits, including health insurance, at rates a small business alone would never be able to secure. This, in combination with their multitude of other services, makes working with them an attractive option for many small businesses.