Today, I have the pleasure of speaking at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Summit about using employee benefits to retain a winning team and workplace culture. During the session, my fellow panelists and I will outline how small businesses can compete with large companies, and what kinds of benefits programs are most important to employees. For those who can’t join us in D.C., below is a preview of what I plan to speak about this afternoon.
When it comes to employee happiness, it’s no secret that benefits are high on the list of what matters. In a recent survey from Glassdoor, 57% of employees report that benefits and perks are a major factor in considering whether to accept a job offer. Another 80% would choose additional benefits over a pay raise. Other reliable sources, like the Employee Benefit Research Institute, reach similar conclusions in their studies.
And we are not just talking perks like dog-friendly offices or free food on Fridays. Today’s employees understand how important hard, meaningful benefits like quality healthcare and 401(k) programs are to their future — and the smartest companies know that these benefits are essential for attracting and retaining top talent.
The right kind of benefits
For a company of any size, determining the best benefits program for your employees can be challenging. But one thing is for sure — the right retirement plan takes the burden away from your team, and shows that you care about their future. While it sounds simple enough, using this as a guiding principle can ensure that you are making your team’s financial health a priority. This is our primary goal at Guideline — to make retirement affordable, convenient, and easy for as many American workers as possible.
For big companies, with more resources and negotiating leverage, offering quality financial benefits should be easier. While several large organizations like Google and the U.S. Government have developed high quality retirement programs to benefit their employees, there are some large corporations and universities that have squandered their inherent advantages.
Meaningful benefits programs that set up workers for long-term success communicate trust and value, and they go farther than casual dress Fridays or even — arguably — salary. Because when your employer is betting on your future self, that means something. And frankly, you can’t find it everywhere.
Small Companies Have Options Too
If you run a small business, it might feel like your options for a stellar 401(k) program are limited. Perhaps budget constraints or lack of a dedicated HR team have you feeling like you can’t provide what you would really like for your employees. In fact, less than half of American businesses with fewer than 50 employees offer a retirement plan because of high costs and administrative difficulties facing employers.
So for small businesses, offering retirement benefits is even more critical to retaining team members in a competitive market. You have the opportunity to stand out — but it’s up to you to take it. A good place to start is by understanding what elements of a retirement program are most important to your employees and then work with a 401(k) provider to decide what options are within your reach.
In today’s competitive, future-looking market, retirement benefits are at the top of the list when it comes to satisfying current employees for the long term and drawing the attention of new ones. Whether your company is large or small, communicating how much you value their financial success and future well-being goes a long way towards creating a culture of value.