Conscientious business owners prefer to offer their employees desirable benefits to foster loyalty and retention. In addition, most small employers understand that a robust and attractive benefits package is essential for attracting quality candidates when hiring.

So, what makes for a “great” benefits package?

It depends. As one company has noted,

“While this can differ depending on who you ask, the standard in most industries consists of health insurance, dental insurance, flexible spending accounts, retirement savings plans, vacation time, and additional paid time off for events like family medical leave, maternity leave, and sabbaticals.”

In addition, many employers offer other perks such as life insurance, vision insurance, childcare benefits, flexible or remote work options, professional development resources, and financial planning services.

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The sobering reality is that most small businesses are not able to provide many of the perks and benefits that larger enterprises can afford.

However, the upside is that, as appealing as some of these less common benefits might be, employees and prospective new hires typically place a higher value on just a few essential benefits. In other words, not offering fitness or healthy lifestyle incentives is usually not a deal breaker

So, what do employees value most when it comes to benefits?

According to employee benefits software provider PeopleKeep, there are baseline employee benefits that most industry experts say are needed to attract talent competitively: healthcare paid time off and possibly a retirement savings option.

And a recent Forbes article has pointed out that the top five employee benefits valued by workers, according to a major survey, were as follows:

  1. Flexible work hours
  2. Company-sponsored retirement plan or pension
  3. Leave early on Fridays
  4. Four-day work week
  5. Family health insurance

Of course, one of the major upsides of benefits, such as flexible work hours, four-day work weeks, or even having a short workday on Fridays, is that this costs an employer little or nothing. Yet the perceived value for workers is high.

And, despite some arguments to the contrary, many companies report higher levels of productivity, worker satisfaction, and increased competitiveness in recruiting and hiring when offering these particular benefits.

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As most small business owners know, the stipulations of the Affordable Care Act require that most employers offer their employees health coverage or pay a penalty tax, often called the pay-or-play provision. Small businesses with fewer than 50 employees are not required to offer health insurance benefits to their workers.

However, in practice, despite the additional costs involved, almost half of employers with less than 10 employees offered health benefits in 2021, while more than 70 percent of those with between 10 and 200 workers offered health coverage.

In other words, for the majority of small business owners, the benefits of offering health benefits outweigh the expense.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), the average annual single premium per enrolled employee for employer-based health insurance in the U.S. in 2021 was $7,380. The average annual family premium was $21,381.

Interestingly, in 2021, employers covered 83 percent of their employees’ self-only or single insurance plans and 73 percent of employees’ family insurance plans.

These expenses for employers are offset somewhat by increased worker health and well-being, resulting in greater productivity. In addition, increased employee retention results in lower recruiting and hiring costs. For example, new hire acquisition costs in the U.S. can be staggering.

According to one financial blog,

“The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) reported that, on average, it costs a company 6 to 9 months of an employee’s salary to replace him or her. For an employee making $60,000 per year, that comes out to $30,000 – $45,000 in recruiting and training costs.”

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Perhaps the largest ancillary cost of employee benefits is the management and administration of those benefits. For example, in the United States, the average salary range for a Human Resources Professional is between $48,500 and $73,000, with the average range between $112,200 and $141,800 in California, according to Salary.com.

And, while you may still be a “small business” with just 40-plus workers according to the ACA’s mandates, managing the various benefits for a staff of close to four dozen employees may require more than one HR manager. Which means additional salary expenses

However, when you work with an insurance broker like J.C. Lewis Insurance Services, you can make full use of Ease software. Ease is a purpose-built benefits administration system that is designed for small businesses to make the management and administration of employee benefits simple and highly affordable.

With Ease software, employers can quickly and easily manage paid time off (PTO) requests, payroll connections, ACA reporting, onboarding and offboarding of employees, and staying compliant.

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At J.C. Lewis Insurance, we want to be your insurance partner, and we offer quality health insurance plans only from the leading health insurance carriers licensed to do business in the states in which we operate.

We are a family owned and operated health insurance agency located in Sonoma County, California. As specialists in finding and managing medical insurance plans for large and small businesses, we are licensed and certified by each insurance carrier we represent.

When you’re looking to offer a great benefits package for your employees – and one that includes great health insurance coverage – you are likely to have several questions and concerns.

That’s great because we welcome your questions about health coverage insurance, and you can be confident that J.C. Lewis Insurance Services will help you find the right solution.

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