By Austen Lee

Employees are the most important assets to any business. They help the organization grow by achieving the company’s goals and targets. Employee benefits, also known as perks, are provided to employees above their salaries. Some benefits include overtime, profit sharing and retirement benefits.

Here are five employee perks every small business should consider offering their employees.

1. Health Benefits

This is one of the biggest employee perks that attracts and retains employees. Medical insurance might sound like a big benefit to offer but it isn’t. It is becoming easier for small businesses to offer insurance and other health benefits due to the availability of more cost-effective options, services, and platforms.

2. Flexible Working Hours

Paid time off and vacations are a good incentive, but you must determine if the employees are really using their time off. Create a culture that encourages employees to take a break and unplug from work to recharge their batteries. Even a break of a day or two can help them perform better.

Apart from paid leave, offering the option of telecommuting a couple of times a month also goes a long way. Not only does it increase employee motivation, productivity and satisfaction but also helps in retaining employees. When you offer flexible hours to the employees, you are indicating that you value their work-life balance, which is increasingly becoming important for professionals.

3. Fun Off-Site Events

As a small business, you might not be able to offer extravagant off-site events, but this doesn’t mean you pull the plug on it indefinitely. You can offer simple outings such as concerts, annual company trips, or even a simple trivia night at a favorite bar once a month.

This helps in bringing the teams together, allows members from different teams to interact and socialize with each other to have some quality fun time outside the workplace. Prospective employees do not worry about the size of the company if they are shown a great company culture where their well being is taken seriously.

4. Transportation Perks

Offer bus transportation services for your employees. If you don’t own your fleet, then take advantage of the monthly commuter benefits that are available in cities with mass transit systems. You can offer tax-free transit fare programs that have the added benefit of saving money on payroll taxes.

Another option includes giving gas gift cards to help those who commute by their cars or offer some monthly traveling allowance for every employee. It will give them the option of using any kind of transport they want to within that budget.

5. Wellness Program

Employee health and wellness ranks high on the incentive list. You probably won’t be able to provide the fancy, well-equipped fitness centers that the gigantic multinationals can offer but you can take smaller yet effective routes.

You can reimburse a portion of gym memberships and other health classes, organize recreational sports meets for the employees, bring in a yoga instructor who can give out weekly yoga programs that employees can do at home or run a daily walking or running club. You can also consider conducting meditation sessions or mental health workshops. You can partner with some fitness apps and offer a discount on them to the employees and encourage them to use it regularly. Organizing a healthy potluck meal is another great idea.

Offering benefits and perks also helps in increasing employee engagement and driving the overall productivity. Moreover, a solid employee benefits package can help you attract and retain talent.