Five great perks for small businesses to help attract workers

It’s no secret that there is a significant labor shortage and finding good workers is one of the biggest challenges facing most small businesses this year. Of course, in times of low supply and high demand, costs rise, which is why many companies have increased compensation to attract these employees.

So much so that payroll company Paychex reported that the average hourly wage paid by employers has now reached a record high of $30 and overall compensation paid to employees has increased by more than 11% in the last twelve months. , according to the United States. Economic Analysis Office.

But it’s not just a question of salary. It’s a matter of benefits. And many of my clients and other smart business owners I know are offering innovative perks to further entice workers to work for them. Here are five you might want to consider for your business.

» READ MORE: Labor scarcity risks hurting American businesses long after COVID

If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that many employees can get their jobs done even when they’re out of the office. And, as countless surveys have shown, employees are very demanding of this type of benefit. Whether it’s a flexible paid time off plan, a work-from-home program, or simply providing the ability to stagger hours and work anytime and anywhere, it’s This is a key benefit in attracting and retaining employees this year.

“We have five different working hours so we can be flexible depending on people’s livelihoods,” says Molly Siciliano, HR manager at Evolution Gaming Ltd, an online gaming and casino company with studios in Philadelphia and Atlantic City. “It’s the best of both worlds. People prefer to work at different times of the day due to their family situation and we can help accommodate this. »

Mental health is also a top priority in 2022. Cheryl Kiley, managing partner of benefits company Fairmount Benefits in Radnor, has seen a “strong desire” from her clients to help their employees with mental health issues. Mental Health.

Whether through health insurance coverage, or through coaching, counseling, or making services like BetterUp and Talkspace available, many companies are reviewing their mental health benefits and ensuring that potential and current employees are fully aware of what is available to them. That’s because, thanks to the pandemic and the attention of celebrities like tennis star Naomi Osaka and Olympic gymnast Simone Biles, mental health awareness has never been higher and many employees – in especially younger people – no longer view depression, anxiety and other similar issues as stigma. .

“It’s become a very popular – and important – perk to give away,” says Kiley. “We help many clients improve these benefits with their current healthcare provider. »

This year, many employers are also increasing their basic health benefits, according to Robert Deninno Jr., director of the Precision Benefits Group in Philadelphia. For example, Deninno says that if you don’t already offer a health savings account with a high-deductible health plan — which allows employees and employers to contribute pre-tax dollars that can be used to pay for non-reimbursable healthcare such as eyeglasses and diagnostic tests – then “you are doing your employees a disservice”.

In addition to health savings accounts, Deninno has also seen many of its clients extend their health coverage beyond the single worker to include their families. “It’s an opportunity to offer even more coverage without having to change plans,” he says. “And it’s become a popular option, probably because of COVID fears.”

Student loan repayment is another important benefit. Many businesses are taking advantage of existing tax deductions and new incentives available through prior COVID legislation that not only encourage helping their employees repay student loans, but also provide other types of education assistance.

Of course, there’s a chance the government will one day write off some of the college-related debt that weighs on so many workers. But for now, many employers are stepping in and offering to help pay off the loans using services like Tuition.io and Savi.

“These are powerful platforms,” says Alan Kaplan, who runs the Kaplan Partners executive search service at Wynnewood. “It’s a bit of a differentiator because a lot of companies still don’t. And I think a lot of young graduates with so much debt really appreciate it.

Finally, consider the fringes. Kiley’s company offers benefits through Fringe, where employees receive points from her company and can then use those points to choose from over 130 different types of benefits offered on the platform, ranging from gym and lunch allowances to financial wellness apps and life and career coaching.

“You can offer these benefits on your own, but it takes a lot of administrative time, which is why we like the Fringe platform,” she says. “We also use it as a reward system instead of just a benefits platform and our employees love it.”

Another thing worth mentioning, because it is overlooked by so many employers and their workers: education.

“Too many of our customers aren’t taking full advantage of what they have,” says Deninno. “I tell them to let me in and brag to their employees about all the perks their company has to offer because they probably don’t know about all of them.”

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