It’s one thing to pay your employees enough for the hard work they do every day. However, that shouldn’t be the only thing you offer if you want to retain them. Today, benefits are the name of the game when you’re trying to attract and keep talented employees. Here are five benefits your employees want you to implement.
1. Paid Time Off
In this day and age, it’s important to give your employees enough paid time off (PTO).
Although we’re a small business, we’ve been working hard to provide our staff with more paid time off. All Sunset Hill Stoneware employees get a week’s worth of PTO after we hire them. We also increased the number of PTO days employees receive, whether they’ve been working with us for one year or 20.
Being able to take a day off allows employees to refresh themselves. It also ultimately pays off in the form of improved productivity. Instead of barely functioning at their desks and sprinkling their flu germs throughout the shop, our teammates can rest up. Once they’re back, we know they’ll be more productive than they would’ve been otherwise.
Whether it’s to go on a long-planned vacation to Italy so they can later Photoshop stoneware mugs onto Renaissance sculptures, or just a mental health day so they can hike at a local state park, it pays to give employees PTO. Consult your company’s leadership and human resources teams about how to implement more PTO for your staff.
2. Retirement Savings
Ideally, you don’t want to work until the day you die.
Having a basic retirement plan set up for your employees shows you care about their careers for the long term and allows them to save. One of the most common options is the 401(k), along with its nonprofit organization cousin, the 403(b). With a 401(k), employees can sock away a small percentage of their paycheck toward retirement. In turn, the company matches contributions. Typically, companies match around 3% for contributions, but some offer 6% or even higher. Sunset Hill Stoneware matches contributions at 4% for our Roth 401(k), so our employees can work toward their futures without having to pay taxes on what they’ve saved after they retire.
With this small percentage match on a traditional 401(k), you’ll be able to start saving for retirement and live comfortably in your golden years. But, for the love of mugs, whatever you do, do NOT take it out before you’re 59 1/2 years old or you will pay both taxes and penalties. We don’t care what the economy is doing or what your personal finances look like right now. Don’t do it.
Although it’s uncommon these days, some companies still offer pension plans for their employees. These are more common at large businesses. Pensions are suitable for companies who plan on keeping their employees around for the long term. While it’s more expensive to implement than a 401(k), pensions show your employees that you care about their future with your company. They also might help you attract more talent.
3. Flexible Scheduling
The future is here, and it doesn’t necessarily run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
While it might still be hard to accommodate that one guy who wants to clock in at 12 a.m. and leave by the time the sun is up, offering flexible scheduling can help employees with life challenges. For employees with kids, being able to come in 30 minutes after the start of shift might allow them to drop their kids off at daycare or school. They’ll still commit to 40 hours of work and do what they need to for the day, but they’ll be able to take care of their families first.
Sunset Hill Stoneware understands that life has to come before work sometimes. That’s why we work with our employees to adjust their shifts if they need to. Even when there are employees that come in at 7 a.m. and leave at 3:30 p.m., they still get their work done. This not only fosters trust between you and your employees, but also gives them another reason to stay at their job.
4. Student Loan Debt Assistance
We’re in the midst of a student loan debt crisis. According to Forbes, there is enough student loan debt in America for every person to owe $4,920. However, the average balance of student loan debt is usually at least $30,000, if not far more. And yes, Millennials know exactly how much we spend on avocado toast; debt is still the biggest source of our financial issues.
Some businesses are helping employees pay down their student debts through loan forgiveness programs. For example, hospital systems often work in tandem with federal programs to help doctors and other medical professionals pay down their student loans. Other private companies offer up to $100 per month to help employees pay down their loans.
It’s a lot easier for your employees to settle down, start families and ultimately stay with your company if they don’t have thousands of dollars in debt crushing them every month. If your company can afford to provide student loan debt assistance, it can improve retention and have good implications for the economy. Plus, whether you’re looking to hire some new recruits fresh out of school or specialists with years of experience, it makes your business look more attractive.
Being able to work from home can have benefits both large and small. Sick kid? Telecommuting allows you to keep up with work when you’re not wiping noses and disinfecting your entire house. Snowstorm of the century? You can still get that major project done on time without risking your life to come into the office. Zombie apocalypse unfolding at the local mall? Build an impenetrable safe house, set up your WiFi connection and continue life as normal.
Being able to telecommute not only allows your employee flexibility, but it also shows you trust them. Although you may need to work with them to make sure this honor system isn’t being abused, it allows your employees to potentially get more done than they would otherwise. That’s potentially two more hours they could spend getting work done, rather than driving through snow or fighting off the living dead.
These are just a few ways you can improve the benefits your company offers. Though there are countless options companies both large and small provide to their employees, consider these a baseline for adapting to what your employees need and want today.