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Top 5 Undervalued Benefits for Small Businesses

Top 5 Undervalued Benefits for Small Businesses

It’s becoming more common for job seekers to pay close attention to the benefits employers offer, instead of just the listed salary. If employers can supplement average pay with unique benefits, it can be hard to leave a job or turn a job offer down. Employee benefits such as medical insurance, life insurance, and disability insurance are all common for employers to offer to new hires right of the bat. However, these benefits are not unique in most industries. While not offering them at all could be a likely disqualifier, they won’t help set companies apart from others. These benefits also do little to improve employee engagement within the workplace, especially because they are only able to be used if you are sick, disabled, or dead.

How Can You Differentiate Your Company?

Offering different/unique benefits is a way to stand out from others in the market. Employees are looking for benefits that they don’t have to qualify for or need an excuse to use. Below are our top 5 undervalued employee benefits.

Top 5 Undervalued Employee Benefits:

  •  Employee Recognition
    • Employees contribute a great deal to the success to the companies they work for. Hence why it is important to recognize their individual success. This can be done in various ways. Two categories are monetary and non-monetary rewards. Monetary rewards are rewards such as bonuses, added PTO, gift cards and more.
      Examples of non-monetary rewards are public recognition, thank you awards, and bestowing extra privileges. These added rewards can be used to recognize work anniversaries, workplace achievements, or just to show your employees you appreciate them. Employee recognition is a simple way to help boost employee engagement!
      Benefit for Employee: Decreased stress, greater enjoyment of work, and increased happiness
      Benefit for Employer: Increased productivity and engagement, improved team culture, and decreased
      employee turnover.
  • Convertible or Standing Desk Options office amenities, comfortable work environment
    • These types of desks are a great feature to add to any regular office space. They not only improve pains you may get from sitting all day, but also are proven to increase productivity. This is a great added benefit for employees who are frequently at a desk. These types of desks allow employees to stand when needed to better their health, but also allows them to remain productive.
      Benefit for Employee: Less Pains and Healthier Lifestyle
      Benefit for Employer: Increased Productivity
  • Employee Assistance Programs (EAP)
    • “An employee assistance program (EAP) is a work-based intervention program designed to assist employees in resolving personal problems that may be adversely affecting the employee’s performance. EAPs traditionally have assisted workers with issues like mental health or substance misuse; however, most now cover a broad range of issues such as child or elder care, relationship challenges, financial or legal problems, wellness matters and traumatic events like workplace violence. Programs are delivered at no cost to employees by stand-alone EAP vendors or providers who are part of comprehensive health insurance plans. Services are often delivered via phone, video-based counseling, online chatting, e-mail interactions or face-to-face.” (SHRM) This is a great program to implement for your employees because of all the added benefits it provides. Free services can be a great help for anyone who is struggling and needs immediate assistance.
      Benefit for Employee: Stress management and affordable resources
      Benefit for Employer: Greater employee retention, decreased absenteeism, improve engagement and productivity
  • Flexible Schedules/ Work from Home
    • Flexible work schedules including 4-Day work weeks and remote work options are becoming more common. This shift became popular with the recent pandemic and has stuck around as a benefit employees find extremely valuable. Employees enjoy and seek out the added benefit of flexibility when it comes to their work schedule. Whether that be the option to work remotely when needed, a permanent hybrid/ remote job, or just the option of simply working different hours, it helps to boost employee engagement. Allowing employees work from home or have regular 3-day weekends, can help them reduce expenses like gas and childcare costs which ultimately helps reduce employee stress. When your employees are less stressed, they are often happier and more productive on a day-to-day basis. This benefit can cost an employer nothing because the employees are still working, just from different times and places!
      Benefit for Employee: Save money and time on commute, better work-life balance, save money on childcare costs, reduced employee stress, and more!
      Benefit for Employer: Attracts top talent, lowers turnover, increases productivity, and improves engagement.
  • Paid Industry Certifications
    • Paid Industry Certifications are a great way to not only benefit the employee, but also the employer. Paying for your employee’s professional industry certifications are a great way to motivate and engage them in the workplace, and to help them develop professionally. This is also a benefit for the employer because they are gaining a certification that can help lead to improvements in the work they complete.

      Benefit for Employee: Improve professional image, happier employees, and career advancement
      Benefit for Employer: Increased productivity, more available skills, improved efficiency, and reduced risk

Other Nonstandard Benefits to Help Your Company Stand Out:

  • Additional PTO for Charity Work
  • Birthday PTO
  • Extra Holiday Time
  • Birthday/ Work Anniversary Lunches
  • Holiday Savings Programs
  • Casual Dress Days
  • Adoption Assistance
  • Gas Reimbursement
  • Childcare Reimbursement
  • Student Loan Repayment Plans
  • Unused Vacation days can rollover to the next year
  • Breastfeeding rooms
  • 401K Matching
  • Home Office Budget for Remote Employees
  • Financial Literacy Programs
  • Pet Insurance
  • Travel Benefits

Offering unique benefits does not just help boost employee happiness, but also helps contribute to more success in the workplace. If you have happy employees, the company is less likely to suffer from frequent turnover and lack of productivity. In some cases it costs nothing to implement unique benefits that boost engagement and happiness in your workplace. Even when some benefits do cost money, if they offset their costs with improved productivity and retention levels, they should be looked at as value generating investments.

No matter the size of your company or budget, you can offer impactful benefits to your employees. When it comes time to start implementing new benefits, it is important to look at what your employees value. You want to make sure that what your offering is going to be of use to as many employees as possible to improve the overall engagement. Again, investing in your employee benefits is investing in your company!