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Benefit Strategies for SMBs: Small Businesses, Big Perks

01 Jul

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In today’s red-hot job market, small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) face a constant struggle: attracting and retaining top talent. Gone are the days when a decent salary alone could secure the best employees. Businesses of all sizes are expected to offer competitive benefits packages beyond the status quo. 

Coupling this competitive market with the high cost of operations creates a significant challenge for SMBs. SMBs are typically not equipped with the resources of larger corporations to provide comprehensive health insurance plans, generous paid time off, or hefty stock options. But fear not; there are ways for SMBs to fight and compete above their weight class and create an attractive employee value proposition. 

The Perks Game 

The answer lies in a strategic mix of benefits, perks, and rewards. While health insurance remains a baseline expectation, SMBs can win over candidates by offering creative perks that cater to today’s workforce priorities. Here are some ideas: 

  • Flexibility: Remote work options, flexible schedules, and compressed workweeks are highly sought after by employees seeking work-life balance. 
  • Wellness: Offering gym memberships, discounts on fitness trackers, and on-site yoga classes promote employee well-being. Additionally, consider adding pet insurance to your package, catering to a growing segment of the workforce with furry companions. 
  • Financial Wellness: Provide access to financial planning workshops, student loan repayment assistance, or discounted financial products. Consider offering Earned Wage Access programs to provide secure and private access to earned wages before payday.   
  • Professional Development: Invest in your employees’ growth by providing continuing education opportunities, conference attendance, or tuition reimbursement
  • Recognition and Appreciation: Catered lunches, team-building events, or employee appreciation programs like non-cash incentives (gift cards, merchandise, company swag) can boost morale and create a positive company culture. Public or peer-to-peer recognition programs can also show appreciation. 

Work-Life Balance Initiatives 

  • Paid time off: Consider offering generous vacation time, sick leave, and personal days to allow for rest and rejuvenation. 
  • Childcare assistance: Partner with local childcare providers to offer discounts or on-site childcare options. 

Health and Ancillary Benefits

Beyond traditional health insurance, consider offering ancillary benefits like dental, vision, and mental health coverage. Partnering with a PEO (Professional Employer Organization) can help SMBs access group rates on these benefits, making them more affordable. 

The Power of PEOs 

Managing all these benefits and ensuring smooth administration can be daunting for SMBs with limited HR resources. This is where PEOs) come in. PEOs co-employ your workforce, taking over the responsibility of administering benefits, payroll, and other HR functions. 

By partnering with a PEO, SMBs gain access to: 

  • Group buying power: PEOs leverage their large pool of clients to negotiate better rates on health insurance and other benefits, making them more affordable for SMBs. 
  • Streamlined administration: PEOs handle the day-to-day benefits administration tasks while your team focuses on your core services and operations. 
  • Expertise: PEOs offer HR compliance guidance and ensure your benefits packages are up to date with the latest regulations. 

The Bottom Line 

In today’s competitive talent market, SMBs can’t afford to skimp on employee benefits. By offering a well-rounded package that includes strategic perks, rewards, and a focus on well-being, your business fosters an attractive and inclusive environment in which to strive and succeed. Partnering with a PEO can be a game-changer, providing access to affordable benefits and expert HR support and allowing SMBs to compete on an equal footing with larger companies. So, don’t let your size hold you back. Embrace the power of strategic benefits and PEO partnerships to achieve success in the war for talent. 

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