What Benefits to Offer Your Employees

Offer desirable employee benefits if you want your business to retain its employees. Although a full range of employee benefits from your business aren't required, you may need to do so to attract and retain employees.

In general, your company should offer benefits choices to its employees because people’s needs are different:

  • Insurance: Perhaps the most sought-after and common benefit — and the most expensive — is health insurance:

    • Fee-for-service plans: Reimburse members (employees and dependents), regardless of what doctor or hospital they go to.

    • Managed care programs (including HMOs): Focus on preventive health and are generally less expensive for both employee and employer, but your employees are limited as to which practitioners and facilities they can visit to receive maximum benefits.

    In addition to health insurance, you may provide dental insurance and vision care.

  • Retirement plans: Include traditional pensions and 401(k)s:

    • Pensions: Fixed benefit amounts with one company. Today, many employers offer more flexible retirement benefits (which can move with an employee to a new job), such as 401(k) plans.

    • 401(k) plans: If your company provides 401(k) plans, employees have their own accounts and can take the money with them when they switch companies. They can contribute as much as 15 percent of their income into the fund.

  • Time off: Even if you’re paying your employees a salary, you can’t expect them to work every day of the year. Pay employees for holidays, vacations, sick days, and personal days.

  • Leaves: A leave of absence occurs when an employee is off work for a specific amount of time, usually without pay, but is still employed by the company. When the leave ends, the employee returns to his or her old position.

  • Childcare assistance: Because of changing family dynamics, more and more families have two working parents or only one parent. Many businesses are assisting employees with childcare with offers such as care referral sources and contracted daycare.

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