Example Plan for Small Business Owners
In one of my companies, I offered the following:
Healthcare – Two types of group healthcare plans—an HMO offering desired benefits like eye care, dental and prescription coverage for employees with families and a major medical healthcare plan—much more affordable for the young, healthy and single.
401(k) Plan – My retirement plan required a certain time that an employee should be with the company (a year or more), to participate, and for every dollar they contributed, I offered a 25 percent match. Employees were visited once a year by the benefit plan administrator to change investments or have questions answered.
Vacation, Sick & Personal Time – Paid vacations were annual upon one year of employment. For one year of service, one week, three years, two weeks, five years, three weeks. Each employee received three personal days per year and sixteen hours of personal time. These benefits did not accrue from year to year and the employees must use them or lose them—a handbook policy stated any employee leaving for any reason was ineligible to received compensation for unused vacation, sick or personal time.
Childcare – Most small businesses don’t have the space or staff for a childcare center, but what I did was offer employees the choice of $100 per month toward their childcare costs, or flex time and telecommuting (if positions allowed for this). Obviously a technician working on vehicles, cannot telecommute.
Fitness – Again, you probably don’t have an onsite center like larger corporations, but you can check with local fitness centers to see if they have company group discounts. For example, my local fitness center offered group plans from as few as five employees to over fifty. As a small business owner, I was able to offer fitness memberships to all my employees at a cost of five dollars per employee per month—I had 25 employees so this cost was only $125 per month. Of course this only offered the basic use of the gym and not class offerings, but the fitness center can upsell to your employees.
Life Insurance – This is really not an expensive benefit and I’m surprised how many companies don’t offer a life insurance plan. Often it’s only a few dollars a month to cover employees for plans based on their annual base salary and if they leave the company, the plan is canceled.
Bonuses and Incentives – You must develop some sort of incentive or bonus plan—even if bonuses are only annual such as at year end. You can find top incentive programs right here on Bright Hub that won’t cost the company too much out of pocket expense.
Training – If you can’t afford tuition reimbursement, although that’s most desired, be creative here. If your company is a franchise, often the franchisor will offer training on self-improvement and technology advancement courses. Ask your insurance liability carrier for free training videos on safety, or check with your local senior center or economic development center to see if they offer retired volunteers to come in and teach your staff personal finance tips or tax preparation help. Often, experience, even if one is retired, is a great training aid and it’s free.
EAPs – Employee assistance plans can be costly, however, don’t indulge in plans you can’t afford. It’s better to offer a plan where employees have to participate in the costs than none at all. Ask your benefits carrier for help on these.
Salary Package – Consider offering above industry standards based on your demographic area. If you live in a town of 100,000 residents, you shouldn’t offer salaries as high as a large metropolitan city. Some states have changed the laws on minimum wage and it really won’t cost you that much more to offer a dollar over that. For salaried employees, even one thousand annually over the competitor can be attractive.