Why Employee Benefits Matter (and Key Benefits Areas to Consider)

The benefits you offer to your workforce are vital to your company’s growth and retention of talent.

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Why Employee Benefits Matter (and Key Benefits Areas to Consider)

Offering employee benefits is one of the most significant tools employers can use to attract and retain talent. Employers typically offer benefits such as medical, dental, vision, retirement, and paid time off. Benefits — like health insurance — can be the primary reason small business employees stay at their job, according to a Zenefits study. And the majority of small business employees in that study said they are unlikely or very unlikely to accept a job that does not offer health benefits.

Providing a strong benefits package to your workforce is not only a smart business decision, it demonstrates your commitment to your employees’ health and future.

Let’s dig into why benefits matter, and key benefits categories to consider.

Why benefits matter

If you’re like most small businesses, there’s a good chance your thoughts about employer-sponsored benefits have shifted since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Benefits and perks you might not have thought about offering — like work-from-home stipends, access to mental health, and wellbeing programs — may have shot to the forefront.

On the other hand, you may have taken a critical look at the price of your company’s benefits package, trying to understand what you should keep or cut in order to offer a competitive package while keeping costs down.

No matter which side of the coin you’re on, it’s important to remember that nearly 4 in 5 (79%) of employees would prefer new or additional benefits over a pay increase. Specifically, more women (82%) than men (76%) prefer benefits or perks to a pay raise.

And, younger employees aged 18-34 (89%) and 35-44 (84%) prefer benefits or perks to pay raises when compared to those aged 45-54 (70%) and 55-64 (66%).

On top of that, more than a quarter (28%) of small business employees left a job because of a poor benefits package.

The benefits you offer are critical to both the growth and retention of talent in your organization.

More than a quarter (28%) of small business employees left a job because of a poor benefits package.

Key areas to consider when offering benefits

It is not surprising that prospective employees tend to ask the most questions about benefits. Ask any HR administrator, and they’ll say they spend countless hours going back and forth answering questions like: How much will it cost me? What is offered? Is my spouse covered? Do you have a retirement plan? What is your telecommute policy? What schedule flexibility do you offer? Do you have educational reimbursement?

Based on our experience working with thousands of companies, here are some key areas to think about when offering benefits, listed in order of importance.

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