As a small business owner, I understand the financial constraints that limit what we can and cannot do for our employees. However there are some benefits that we can offer our employees to help make their lives a little easier and hopefully reduce our turnover. The more benefits that company is able to provide to an employee, the more loyal the employee becomes to the organization. Have you ever heard of someone say they are staying with a company because of the insurance or because they have accrued so many days off and don’t want to lose them. You can provide similar benefits to increase your employee’s loyalty.
- Join your local Chamber of Commerce. Many Chambers offer benefits and discounts to their members such as discounts on insurance that can be passed along to your employees. There are also lots of networking opportunities during breakfast, lunch and often after work. It can be a benefit to an employee who likes interacting with the public to have the opportunity to get out of the office every once in a while and they will be promoting your business.
- Provide paid time off. Although you may not be able to offer weeks of paid vacation, it can be a benefit to employees if they are able to receive some paid holidays during the year. Also, consider adding paid time off for the bereavement of immediate family members.
- Work with a financial advisor to set up Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) for your employees. If your company is not in a financial position to make a contribution to a retirement plan, some employees may appreciate having the option to make contributions on their own behalf through a payroll deduction. This will make you feel good because you are helping your employee plan for the future and will be a convenience for the employee.
- Offer professional development opportunities. If you know of a class, online or at the local technical college, that your employees could benefit from; consider offering to pay half of the tuition. There is no guarantee that your employee won’t take the knowledge and run, but you will benefit from the enhanced knowledge and/or service to clients that you employee provides while employed with you. In many instances, these contributions can be used a business tax deduction. Check with your accountant to be sure.
- Pay your employees a commission. I am a huge fan of sales people being paid a commission. If you have an employee in a sales related position that does not want to be paid based on a commission, this should raise a red flag. Most sales people are extremely aggressive and like to exceed goals, they also like to be paid what they are worth and will be more motivated if they know they have a higher earning potential. Although you may find yourself paying your employee more money, you should also find that your organization is making more money, if your commission structure is set up properly.
- Create a bonus structure. At the beginning of each year, month, week and day; you should have sales/production goals. All of your employees should be aware of these goals and you all should be working to meet or exceed those goals. However, many organizations struggle to get buy in from their employees because the employee does not see the incentive in exceeding the goals rather than merely meeting them. Setting up an annual, quarterly or monthly bonus structure will have your employees more focused on the organization exceeding its goals because they want the incentive. The incentive doesn’t always have to be monetary, however, that is the most common form of compensation.
- Provide free or discounted uniforms. Depending on the nature of your business, providing your employees with a uniform will help to create a cohesive and polished image for your business as well as save your employees money on buying clothes for work. In some instances, the purchase of work specific clothes can be a tax deduction. Consider partnering with a local printery to have tee shirts screen printed or polos embroidered with your company name and in your company colors. These items paired with a khaki or dark-colored bottom can create a memorable look for your company.
- Provide direct deposit. In the technological age of online bill pay and increased debit card use, many people rarely, if ever, visit their local bank. Providing paper checks could be a huge inconvenience for you and for your employees. Enrolling in a direct deposit payroll system will ensure that your employees are consistently paid on time, whether you are tending the shop or on vacation. It also prevents an employee, who may be on vacation, from worrying about how they will receive their payment. There is a small fee for most direct deposit services but the convenience should be worth it.
Whether you are able to use one or all of these tips, I hope you have a benefits package for your employees that makes your organization a great place to work. You can have the best product/service, but your people are the driving force behind attracting and retaining clients.
Leave me a comment with some benefits that you provide your employees that are budget friendly.