Five benefits for a small business to consider to attract and retain talent

Written by
Eileen Haggerty

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Small businesses know the struggle of attracting talent as well as the importance of retaining that talent whenever possible. Currently, it is a competitive job market and employees have many options. To compound the problem, studies show that employees may be ready to make significant job changes. That is why it is crucial for small business employers to align their benefit offerings in a way that attracts and retains staff.

Knowing which employee benefits to offer isn’t always obvious. One recommendation is to start by surveying existing employees and even prospective employees to uncover what benefits are most valued. Using that data, employers can start to make informed decisions.

While every workforce is unique and may vary in needs for attracting and retaining talent, some popular benefit options include:

1. Health Insurance

In all industries, health insurance is consistently one of the most desired benefits among employees. Covid-19 has brought the importance of good health coverage to the forefront of everyone’s mind. Generous employer-sponsored health benefits offset the expense for medical care that people may need. In fact, many small employers may attract and retain talent by increasing the health insurance options and cost-sharing rather than adding additional ancillary benefits that employees may not need or just consider a “nice to have”.

2. Wellness Benefits

Wellness is a hot topic these days, and employees are looking more and more for employers who take wellness seriously. This can be especially true in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, where health consequences are front of mind and a part of everyday decisions. Employers who choose to ignore wellness initiatives may be interpreted by current and prospective employees as ignoring overall health. Clearly, this is not how to attract and retain talent.

Different workplaces will offer different wellness benefits, but the purpose of any of them is generally to increase employees’ overall well-being. For instance, benefits may include mental health counseling, snacks, gym memberships, fitness trackers, yoga sessions or other perks. When it comes down to it, employees want to feel like their employers care about them as individuals and demonstrate it by prioritizing their well-being.

3. Retirement Planning

Financial security becomes more important as employees age closer to retirement. Employees want an investment in their retirement in the form of a retirement plan contribution match. Employees consider the employer contribution as a tradeoff for their hard work now in exchange for an investment in their future. Additionally, offering a contribution or match to a retirement plan such as a 401K demonstrates an employer’s investment in their employee’s long term financial success and can be a powerful attraction and retention tool.

4. Flexible Work Schedules

The ability to create a flexible work schedule is an important consideration for employees. Again, the COVID-19 pandemic may have impacted employees by creating more caregiving responsibilities than they had previously making flexible work schedules and work/life balance more important. For small business employers looking to attract and retain employees, expanding work from home or hybrid work models to include flexible work schedules could provide great leverage.

5. Professional Development

Employees don’t always choose to leave an employer solely based on money. Some may choose to leave simply because they want more of a challenge or other opportunities. Additionally, surveys suggest employees have been putting off job changes during the COVID-19 pandemic, meaning a wave of turnover may be coming soon. Employers may want to think proactively about ways to keep employees around, especially when it comes to top performers.

Professional development may offer employers the chance to challenge employees and allow employees an opportunity to expand their knowledge, skills, and abilities. Professional development can work for both the employer and employee when it involves cross-training employees on other positions or otherwise preparing them to take on additional responsibilities. This benefits the employee by offering more growth opportunities while keeping them within the business.

When an employer offers these development opportunities it signals to employees that the workplace has upward mobility and is willing to invest in employees as they work towards their career goals. An additional benefit employer-sponsored professional development can be used in recruiting conversations to attract new talent. Professional development can come in the form of tuition or training reimbursement programs and in-house learning opportunities through mentoring or employer-sponsored on-the-job training.

Insource will work with you to determine which of these benefits and incentives may work best for you to attract and retain talent and we can help set them up for you, customized for you. We are here to help you find – and keep – the best talent. For more information and support, follow us or get in touch today.

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