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6 affordable employee benefits ideas for small businesses

Your small business might have a modest payroll and less attractive resources than larger companies, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t provide competitive employee benefits. Alternatively, you can turn the size of your business into an advantage and offer benefits that your employees will appreciate. With businesses reopening amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, employee benefits are imperative for attracting and retaining top talent.

Many small businesses understand the importance of offering attractive benefits, with 56% expecting to spend more on employee compensation strategies in 2021. This Pacific Prime UK article presents 6 ideas for employee benefits that small businesses can afford.

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Small business benefits for employees

While your small business might not be able to afford an onsite gym or company trip just yet, there are still plenty of perks that will go a long way in making your employees feel valued. A 2019 CareerBuilder survey found that perks and benefits are some of the top things job seekers thought about when choosing new employment, with 55% valuing benefits over salary. Here are some creative employee benefits ideas that will help keep your workforce happy, healthy and engaged.

1. Wellness programmes

Your employees’ mental and physical health plays a huge role in their work performance and, in turn, the success of your company. Employee wellness programmes are employer-initiated programmes that are designed to improve the overall health of your employees. The programmes are completely customisable, allowing you to meet the needs of your workforce and stick to your budget. Gym memberships, fitness activities and stress management workshops are some of the most popular options.

2. Recharge rooms

Unlike pantry areas where colleagues can catch up by the watercooler or converse over a bite to eat, recharge rooms allow employees to take some time out of their day to relax. This quiet space can be used to meditate, nap or even daydream before returning to their desks for another round of work. Designed to encourage employees to unwind and put their stresses on hold, recharge rooms can give staff a much-needed boost of energy and mental clarity. Meditation, yoga and nap rooms are achievable for small businesses, requiring only a quiet space and props such as a floor mat and cushions.

3. Flexible work arrangements

As one of the top three non-monetary employee benefits, flexible work arrangements are an ideal benefit for small businesses. The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated flexible working arrangements, as companies that believed work could not be done remotely had to quickly change their tune to operate as usual and keep employees safe. These arrangements, including workplace flexibility and hybrid office options, could be here to stay now that more job seekers are after these perks and existing employees appreciate the trust and autonomy that come with them. If remote work or alternative work schedules are not achievable, flexible working hours are a good alternative.

4. Paid time off

It can be tempting for small businesses to want to make the most out of every minute employees work, but that will only do more harm than good – especially in the long term. Employees who feel pressured to always work and are not allowed any time off will be the first to look for other job opportunities that give them room to breathe. One solution is to offer a flexible paid time off policy. This means employees are given a total number of days to use in any way they like instead of a set number of holidays, sick leave and so on. You can also take it up a notch by adopting unlimited holidays – a perk that’s guaranteed to keep employees happy and healthy.

5. Free food

Free food is something that anyone can appreciate – employees included. Offering complimentary snacks, or even lunch, can make you stand out amongst other employers. Office food continues to rank highly amongst the most sought-after office perks. On top of that, research suggests that providing healthy food options for free correlates with increased levels of productivity, retention and happiness. Stock the pantry with fresh fruits, nuts, vegetables, yoghurt and other healthy treats to keep your workforce motivated and focused.

6. Health insurance

No list of desirable employee benefits would be complete without health insurance. In 2021, it comes as no surprise that health benefits are the most common benefit provided by small businesses. Health benefits continue to dominate compensation strategies since it shows that the company cares for employees’ health and wellbeing. It also gives them peace of mind knowing they won’t be in a risky situation if they need medical care at some point.

Even though health benefits will continue to be important for the foreseeable future, small businesses may be hesitant to take out a group health insurance policy due to the anticipated costs. Luckily, there are ways you can reduce insurance costs while maintaining employee satisfaction.

The best way to find an affordable group health insurance policy is to seek the expert advice of an insurance broker like Pacific Prime. As a leading insurance broker and small business benefits provider, we can easily help you find the right health insurance for your unique needs, and within your budget. Whether you’re looking for an employee benefits plan for small businesses or larger ones, we’re happy to offer our expert guidance. Contact us for impartial advice or a free plan comparison and quote today.

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Senior Copywriter at Pacific Prime UK
Jantra Jacobs is a Senior Copywriter at Pacific Prime with over 10 years of writing and editing experience. She writes and edits a diverse variety of online and offline copy, including sales and marketing materials ranging from articles and advertising copy to reports, guides, RFPs, and more.

Jantra curates and reports on the results of Pacific Prime’s monthly newsletters, as well as manages Pacific Prime’s Deputy Global CEO’s LinkedIn posts. Complemented by her background in business writing, Jantra’s passion for health, insurance, and employee benefits helps her create engaging content - no matter how complex the subject is.

Growing up as a third-culture kid has given her a multicultural perspective that helps her relate to expats and their families while 8 years of working remotely have given her unique insight into hybrid work arrangements and enthusiasm for employee benefits.
Jantra Jacobs