There is no denying that hundreds of thousands of businesses have suffered throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. And now that things are beginning to rebound and recover, employers are dealing with the so-called Great Resignation and the startling lack of workers. Now and any time, offering employee benefits is one of the best ways to boost your company’s long-term success.
At Angie Avard Turner Law, LLC, I help entrepreneurs protect what they’ve created. Through contracts, business structure setup, and intellectual property protection, I assist you in building and guarding your company. Reserve your time to talk, and let’s get started.
A Brief History of Employee Benefits
The historical conflict between labor and ownership is no secret. It has been a messy and often violent problem in US history. Many of the employee benefits that exist today came about through the resolution of these conflicts.
The Industrial Revolution led to the rise of unions that advocated for workers’ rights and safety. While early negotiations primarily focused on life-or-death workplace matters, employees eventually began to fight for other benefits.
Retirement benefits such as pension plans evolved as people began to outlive their ability to work effectively. Whereas people used to practically work until they died, times were changing at the end of the 19th century. Medical advances helped to extend life expectancies, developing a new group of people who couldn’t still work but had more years to live.
The first corporate pension in the US dated back to 1875 and was for American Express railroad employees. It required workers to be at least 60 years old and to have worked for the company for at least 20 years!
Interestingly, World War II is largely responsible for the advent of employer-sponsored medical coverage. Facing a massive labor shortage, the government worried employers would start offering really high salaries that could mess with inflation.
So they mandated a wage freeze. Without the option of offering higher pay, companies started to provide medical coverage to entice workers.
Are Companies Required to Offer Employee Benefits?
Most employee benefits are not mandated by law, especially for small businesses. Under Obamacare, companies with 50 or more full-time employees (or the equivalent) must offer medical coverage or pay a steep penalty. So, technically, there is no law requiring a company to provide medical insurance, but there are hefty fines in place.
The Family Medical Leave Act mandates up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for employees who meet specific requirements. The FMLA only applies to businesses with 50 or more employees.
Vacation and sick leave are not required by law at the federal level, although states may have their own laws.
Is It Worth It To Offer Benefits to Your Employees?
Surprising no one, employee benefits can be very expensive for business owners to provide. Healthcare, vacation days, and other perks add up quickly and definitely impact the bottom line. So is it worth it?
Yes, it is! Offering valuable benefits is an excellent way to recruit and retain high-quality employees who will help boost your business. Providing employee benefits is an investment in the long-term health of your company since it lets you build a top-tier team that can thrive.
Here are three critical reasons to make benefits part of your business.
1. Employee Benefits Make You Competitive When Hiring
Currently, as we emerge from the pandemic in fits and starts, there is a tremendous labor shortage. Almost everywhere you look, companies are hiring. Having a robust benefits package gives you an edge when looking for excellent employees.
But even under more typical circumstances, offering benefits is one of the best ways to recruit a high-quality workforce for your organization. In fact, a Glassdoor survey found that about 80% of workers prefer better benefits to a higher salary. Finding, recruiting, and retaining top talent requires more than a great paycheck.
2. Employee Benefits Lead to Healthier and More Productive Workers
Absenteeism is one of the costliest issues for businesses to handle. Of course, some workers just don’t show up without any good reason for missing work. But frequently, employees miss their shift or workday due to any number of legitimate causes:
Lack of Childcare
Mental Health Disorders
Caring for Elderly Relatives
Employee benefits can help to address some or all of these reasons. With access to medical insurance for themselves and their dependents, employees are much less likely to be chronically ill or to have sick kids at home.
Outside of medical coverage, perks such as gym memberships and dependent care stipends can go a long way toward keeping employees healthy, supported, and able to work.
3. Employee Benefits Help Reduce Turnover
Here’s a shocking statistic. Depending on the level of employee, the cost of replacing them can be more than 200% of the salary. Employee turnover is extremely costly to a business.
When you offer perks that help retain quality workers, you significantly reduce the risk of losing them to other opportunities. Maintaining a consistent team of employees is much simpler when you have valuable benefits to offer.
What Are the Best Perks to Offer Employees?
Excellent medical insurance tops the list of benefits that employees consider when deciding whether or not to accept a job offer. But beyond that obvious offer, there are many more that workers routinely seek out in their job hunts.
Some of the top perks that help companies draw top talent include:
Dental and Vision Coverage
Unlimited Vacation Days
Paid Family Leave
Fitness and Gym Memberships
Free Snacks and Beverages
Employee Retreats and Trips
Long gone are the days when workers planned to stay with companies throughout their careers. Employees are transient and have options, so employers must offer benefits if they want to build and keep a high-quality team.
Ready To Hire?
If your small business is growing and expanding, then you’re probably ready to hire. Whether you have one employee or one hundred, having benefits in place will make you competitive and more likely to retain great talent.
For help with the legal side of hiring employees, reach out to me at Angie Avard Turner Law, LLC. I can support you through the process of establishing contracts to make sure you protect your interests while hiring a great team.
As an intellectual property attorney, I work with entrepreneurs around the country from my law office here in Pelham, GA. I’d love to connect with you to see how I can help. Reserve your time to talk today.