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Today’s workforce is looking for more than just a paycheck—they want roles that provide both personal and professional fulfillment. This encompasses a broad range of desires, from work-life balance and flexible working hours to continued learning opportunities and a supportive work culture.

The giants of industry have the resources to offer extensive benefits packages that smaller enterprises simply can’t match. But this doesn’t mean small businesses need to wave a white flag. Instead, they can create a competitive benefits package tailored to their unique circumstances, ensuring they attract the skilled professionals needed to drive growth and success.

According to a survey by Gallup, the two most important factors employees think about when considering a new job are a significant increase in income or benefits (64%) and greater work-life balance and personal wellbeing (61%). The numbers reveal a lot: making a decent living wage is important, but maintaining some level of balance is practically on par with it.

Keep those numbers in mind as you formulate the best small business benefits packages to attract talent. Let’s look at some of the considerations and components you’ll need to get right.

The Power of Benefits for Small Business

The benefits small businesses offer need to be strategic and impactful. While it may not be feasible to match the 401(k) contributions of a large corporation, small businesses can offer flexible work schedules, remote work options, or professional development opportunities. These benefits can be just as attractive, if not more so, for many employees. Don’t be afraid to get creative when laying out how your benefit plan might look.

Tailoring Your Benefits Package

When crafting a benefits package, it’s important to consider the demographics of your workforce and the nature of your industry. Younger employees might value student loan assistance, whereas older employees may prioritize healthcare and retirement planning. In creative industries, opportunities for innovation and expression might be more valued. Spending the time to anticipate your workforce’s needs can pay off in the end.

Health and Wellness

Health benefits don’t need to be extravagant. Even the tightest budgets leave some room for options like health savings accounts (HSAs), which are funded by the employee; or health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs), which are funded by the employer. These can be cost-effective ways to support employees’ health needs and offset the costs of high deductible insurance.

Flexibility and Work-Life Balance

Offering flexible hours or the option to work from home can be a significant draw. Depending on what industry you’re in, these allowances may even be viewed as table stakes. This flexibility can be particularly appealing to parents or those with other caregiving responsibilities.

A study published by Vistage just this year showed that 60% of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) planned to offer remote work options to attract top talent. On top of that, 68% made an effort to offer flexible hours and scheduling. Be sure to feature flexibility in your small business benefits package to ensure you’re casting as wide a net as possible.

Professional Development

Investing in employees’ growth can lead to a more skilled and dedicated workforce. Consider offering access to online courses, in-house training, or stipends for external professional development. Simply cross training your employees can help them refresh their daily routine and break out of silos. Additionally, Lunch & Learns have become an informal but effective way for employees to share knowledge for the benefit of your business. And as mentioned, there is no shortage of online learning platforms offering low-cost ways to fortify the skills of your workforce.

When developing your program, cost doesn’t have to be prohibitive. New York State, for example, offers numerous grants for professional development, including the Professional Development Grant Program and the Pay for Performance Grant Program.

Creating a Culture of Recognition

Small gestures of appreciation can go a long way. In fact, a joint study by Gallup and Workhuman determined that employees who receive great recognition are 20 times as likely to be engaged as employees who don’t. Among workers who receive great recognition, 72% of respondents mentioned that even their performance on the “little things” is enough to get a mention at their place of business.

Recognition feels good, no matter your position or tenure. Regularly acknowledging employees’ efforts and successes can foster a positive workplace environment and increase job satisfaction. When you’re focused on the day to day of running your small business, these simple gestures can get overlooked. But putting in effort to offer timely praise to deserving employees can elevate your culture overnight—at no cost to you.

Financial Wellness Programs

Guidance on financial planning, retirement options, or even discounts on services and products can make a substantial difference to employees. And it’s not always about dollars and cents. Just knowing that an employer takes the long-term financial well-being of its employees to heart can boost morale.

Look no further than the results of a recent survey from the Employee Benefit Research Institute: a whopping 85% of companies said that financial wellbeing initiatives had either a large or small impact on their employees’ mental, emotional, and social wellbeing. Every little bit helps, especially when it comes to securing financial futures. This is a prime example of how personal and professional satisfaction can stem from the same benefit.

Your Partner in Offering a Competitive Benefits Package

Ethan Allen HR Services understands the constraints you face in creating the best small business benefits packages for your employees. But you don’t have to do it alone. A reputable PEO like Ethan Allen offers small business owners and office managers a range of benefits that not only attract talent but also contribute to their well-being and professional growth.

If you’re a small business owner or office manager looking to enhance your benefits package, we’re here to partner with you. Our team is ready to guide you through the process of choosing a benefits package that’s as competitive as it is meaningful to your employees. With our help, you can offer a suite of benefits that will not only attract the best talent but also keep them engaged and committed to your business’s success, now and into the future.

Want access to the best small business benefits packages in the Hudson Valley and beyond? Reach out to Ethan Allen today.