As someone who helps run a small business, you have a lot of challenges that bigger employers don’t have. As a result, the outlook can be a little dicey: Roughly half of small businesses survive their first five years, and only 30% last for 10 years or more, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. From settling on the right business model to remaining in compliance, staying capitalized, and finding the right market, there are innumerable hurdles for you to conquer. But one of the biggest (and most important) can be recruiting and retaining a great team. Even if you find the right competitive niche for your business, there will always be stiff competition with bigger companies for great talent. As a small business, building a strong, empowering culture that stands up to the big guys can be hard, but we have some tips for how to do so (and it starts with things like your benefits or 401k package).
So, how do you make employees an offer they can’t refuse and keep them engaged once they are on board? When it comes to employee happiness, the benefits you offer are high on the list of what matters most. In a recent survey by Glassdoor, 57% of employees report that benefits and perks are a major factor in considering whether to accept a job offer. Another 80% would choose additional benefits over a pay raise. Other reliable sources, like the Employee Benefit Research Institute, reach similar conclusions in their studies.
We’re not just talking perks like dog-friendly offices or free food on Fridays. Today’s employees understand how important hard, meaningful benefits like quality healthcare and 401(k) programs are to their future — and the smartest companies know that these benefits are essential for attracting and retaining top talent.
Specifically, Glassdoor’s survey found that health care and a retirement plan were the two benefits employees covet the most. Given the uncertainty surrounding the US healthcare system, it’s not surprising that health insurance is concern number one.
But employees are also worried about being able to retire comfortably. The Economic Policy Institute found that only half of American families have any retirement savings at all, and that the median savings for families who are approaching retirement is only $17,000. The scary financial reality your employees face give you a huge opportunity to build engagement and loyalty by alleviating some of the pressure they feel about retirement.
Need proof? A 2017 study by the Employee Benefit Research Institute found that almost 6 in 10 workers who are extremely satisfied with their benefits are also extremely satisfied with their jobs. Let’s make sure your company is part of that statistic!
For big companies with more resources and negotiating leverage, offering quality financial benefits should be easier. While large organizations like Google and the U.S. Government have developed high quality retirement programs to benefit their employees, many large corporations and universities have squandered their inherent advantages by offering sub par retirement plans, or pushing employees into part time or contractor roles to avoid offering benefits.
With budget constraints and the lack of a dedicated HR team, it may feel like an uphill battle, but it may not be as costly or as difficult as you think to deliver a competitive package. Some benefits providers offer consultative help and integrate seamlessly with your payroll provider.
For offering health insurance, small and medium-sized businesses can sometimes get rates that are competitive with larger companies if they have a younger or healthier pool of employees. Similarly, offering a 401(k) doesn’t have to be expensive if you choose the right provider. Either type of benefit can be a thoughtful alternative to a holiday bonus — and don’t forget that you will also personally reap the rewards of any benefits you offer to the rest of the team.
Whether your company is large or small, communicating how much you value employees’ financial success and future wellbeing goes a long way toward creating a culture of value — and helping your company reach bigger goals.
This post is a digest of our 401(k) partner Guideline’s take on how offering a employee benefits can improve culture and retention. To learn about integrating a 401(k) program into your current Zenefits dashboard, visit Zenefits today to learn how to get started!