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8 Affordable Employee Perks for Small Businesses

Companies today are getting craftier than ever when it comes to employee benefits. Some of the largest companies are offering completely-paid health premiums, pet insurance, daycare, and even baby cash for new parents! You might be wondering how you can compete as a small business owner.

Those businesses with competitive pay and unique benefits are attracting America’s top talent. The truth is, you can compete with the larger companies. Just because you can’t afford fully-paid health premiums does not mean that you can’t offer other unique perks at an affordable cost. Let’s explore how.

How to compete with larger corporations

You may be wondering how you will be able to compete with such a smaller budget than large corporations. The answer is to be wise when it comes to picking and choosing your perks. Perhaps in addition to a competitive salary and the essential health and dental plans, you also offer your employees a paid gym membership. Have you ever thought about just how useful that membership is? Is every single employee using that gym membership? If not, this money could go towards a perk that can be used by every employee. In other words, you want to get the most for your dollar.

Why are employee perks valuable?

With the unemployment rate at a 50-year low, you would assume the average American has plenty of money. However, this is not the case. A recent study revealed that 69% of workers have stress about their finances. Additionally, nearly 40% of households believe they don’t have enough savings to cover an unexpected $400 expense. Strategic employee perks can alleviate some of that stress from your employees.

The solution: low-cost perks

The majority of these numbers come from millennials, a generation that makes up nearly half of the workforce today. With the challenging times that millennials are facing, 80 percent of employees prefer new benefits over a raise, which means it’s time to get creative with your employee perks! If you are a small business owner, here are some affordable employee perks you could consider:

A full kitchen

It’s no surprise that during an 8-hour workday, people need food and beverages to keep them going. When it comes to stocking your office fridge, it doesn’t have to be like stocking your home with three meals throughout the day, but having a few snacks, coffee, tea, or hot chocolate can go a long way.

Flexible hours

A huge part of offering perks to your employees nowadays is to enhance their lifestyle to benefit their work/life balance. If costly perks are not in your budget, at the very minimum, your employees would appreciate a flexible schedule. To contribute to a flexible schedule, several companies allow their employees to work from home a few days out of the week. This practice enables employees to take care of their personal needs while still attending to their jobs.

Be dog-friendly

If many of your employees have dogs, a fun and unique benefit could be allowing your team to bring their furry friends to work one day a week! If you do consider this perk, be sure to set some rules, so your organization does not become completely distracted from their work.

Commuter benefits

Commuting to work can be a hassle for some people. Not only is rush-hour hectic and stressful, but it can become pricey for your employees. Consider offering a commuter allowance. This allowance does not have to be hundreds of dollars, but even offering to cover one tank of gas per month is a great way to acknowledge your team members. If your office is in the city, bus or parking passes are much appreciated.

Summer hours

We all know how it goes in the summer. The temperatures rise, the sun comes out, and it's like all productivity and motivation go away with the winter season. One way to boost productivity and enhance work culture is to create summer hours. Many businesses allow their employees to work a half-day on Fridays in the summer. This arrangement can prove to be a win-win for both you and your staff. You have a low-cost employee perk while boosting employee productivity, and employees get to enjoy the summer season with their friends and family!

Birthday celebrations

Sometimes, all employees want is to feel acknowledged and appreciated. What better way to recognize employees than to make them feel special on their birthday? Consider giving employees a paid day off on their birthday or reward them with a free lunch!

Unlimited vacation

We know what you are thinking- this is a bad idea! But many large companies, such as Netflix, have put unlimited PTO policies in place. Many employees have found that 20 days of PTO are simply not enough. Most times, employees have no choice but to use those days for doctor appointments, sick days at home with their children, or other important things other than vacation time. As an employer, you should never underestimate the importance of vacation time. The more well-rested your employees are, the more productive they will be in the office.

Lifestyle Spending Accounts

Perhaps you have several employee perks in mind, but you have no idea how to fund them all. The good news is, there is the perfect perk for you with lifestyle spending accounts. A lifestyle spending account (LSA) is an account-based benefit in which an employer allows employees to make specific types of purchases from the amount that has accrued in their LSA.

For instance, perhaps you believe some of your employees would benefit from gym memberships. Others would appreciate learning opportunities, financial counseling, daycare, or other perks. One of the most significant benefits of lifestyle spending accounts is that the spending options and perks are all in the employer’s hands! As an employer, you have complete control.

Lifestyle spending accounts do not have to be expensive; the employer can add as much as they wish to these accounts without a contractual schedule. Whether you want to reward your employees with $100 a month for perks, $20 per month, or a merit award for exceeding expectations, Lifestyle Spending Accounts make it simple! Want to learn more about how LSAs work? Try a free demo today!

At Work2Live, we are passionate about helping you find the perfect perks for your employees. Our Lifestyle Spending Accounts will not only provide you with the ideal perks, but you can expect to see a boost in employee retention and, overall, a happier work environment. To learn more about LSAs, reach out to a team member at Work2Live today.

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