May 6, 2022


Better Benefits for Small Businesses

On April 29, a document was drafted from the desk of the president declaring May 2 – 5 to be National Small Business Week. This proclamation describes the importance small businesses hold within the American economy. In addition, President Joe Biden describes the new plans to help small business owners thrive as the country moves forward, out of the pandemic.

Many small business owners are still struggling to find their footing from the pandemic and the Great Resignation. Those finding themselves short-staffed need to take a thoughtful look into their management styles and employee benefits for the best outcome of employee recruitment and retention.

Small Business Benefits

Whenever the discussion of benefits is raised, the first thing that comes to mind is healthcare and insurance. While they comprise a large portion of company offerings, many employees want something more from their benefits package. Instead of looking at the generalized workforce, a better approach is to appeal to the workforce that makes up your small business. Survey your employees on what they would like to see in their own benefits packages. This information will allow you to make more informed offering decisions when attracting new talent.

Mental Health Matters

During the pandemic, Apex Benefits received many inquiries from employers on how to approach employee attraction and retention. In this article, VP of Client Engagement Amber Chittenden, touches on the rising popularity of flexible benefits such as work-life balance and PTO policies. She further outlines how these benefits can help reduce the amount of stress and burnout that often accompany overworked employees.

With several organizations now providing remote and/or hybrid schedules, it’s no surprise many employees now wish for vacations due to the stressors they face both at home and in the office. Small businesses can assist in making the lives of their employees much more manageable, resulting in a happier and more efficient workforce. In her article, Brooke Salazar, JD, describes how current benefit offerings are lacking. When interest is lost in benefit offerings, it is time to rethink and restrategize. Salazar suggests that, due to these societal shifts, it is pertinent to provide benefits that support employee mental health, such as well-being surveys, company-wide mental health days and additional managerial training to ensure inclusivity.

Culture Defines a Company

With applicants becoming more selective in their job search, small businesses should focus on building a positive company culture even with limited resources. A happy and healthy work environment is a defining factor in retaining current employees and gaining new ones. Businesses that hold training for diversity and inclusion help promote more positive cultures, reducing discrimination and building respect throughout the company.

An organization’s values shine through its culture and treatment of its employees. Forbes conducted a study that found most survey respondents would quit a job at a company whose values did not match their own, and they were less likely to take a position where values did not align.

Invest in Current Talent

Many small businesses face skill-gaps in their workforce. In fact, a survey in 2020 from GetApp found that 20 percent of small businesses cited a lack of employee skills as the single biggest challenge they faced in response to COVID-19. To combat this, arm your employees with the skills they need to excel in their position and provide opportunities for upward mobility. For example, some businesses are creating mentorship programs, certification classes and workshops for employees to enhance their skill sets.