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Why should SMEs care about employee benefits?

Silicon Valley technology companies are known for their incredible employee benefits. Whether it’s Facebook’s USD $4000 cash grant to new parents or Airbnb’s USD $2,000 annual stipend for stays in any of its listings, these companies seem to be in an “arms race of perks” that cause most small and mid-sized enterprises (SMEs) to feel overwhelmed.

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However, there’s something crucial that SMEs can learn from these companies: salary isn’t always enough to keep employees happy. It’s not necessary to go overboard with employee benefits. It’s just important to be onboard with the idea of employee benefits. If you’re not convinced as yet, this Pacific Prime article explains why.

1. It makes you stand out from the competition – something SMEs need more than anyone.

A Glassdoor study polled over 1,100 US adults and found that 63% look for employee benefits when looking at job ads. That means, out of 10 qualified candidates for a job, there’s a high chance the firm may lose 6 candidates if they don’t offer any benefits.

Of course, these are US-centric results and may not exactly apply to your situation. Nevertheless, it does show the importance of employee benefits when it comes to attracting, hiring, and retaining talent.

Just like when you shop around for the best candidates, job seekers are also comparing job offers for the best one. If two jobs are almost identical, except for one offering flexible working schedules, which one do you think a job seeker will choose?

As an SME, you’re competing for talent not just with other small firms but also larger ones. Providing employee benefits helps you stand out as an employer. What’s more, if you plan to grow quickly, you’ll need the best candidates by your side.

2. Happy employees means higher productivity.

Andrew Carnegie once said: “There is little success where there is little laughter”.

It’s an age-old saying that laughter is the best medicine. That’s because when a person laughs they tend to trigger the release of endorphins, which are the body’s feel-good chemicals.

Laughing makes a person happier because it generates a sense of well-being and relieves pain temporarily. Therefore, at the workplace, it’s no surprise that laughter boosts productivity.

How do you promote laughter? It’s something that has to come naturally. You can hardly engineer a funny joke among coworkers. Yet providing employee benefits like mindfulness sessions may be able to increase the likelihood of laughter at work.

Here are our top 3 non-monetary employee benefits to keep your staff happy.

3. Your staff will stay with you longer and this will lower turnover costs.

One of the biggest reasons why SMEs are deterred from providing employee benefits is because they fear it’ll cost them a lot. Ultimately for employers, especially for smaller firms, the bottom line is of utmost importance.

In reality though, having employee benefits can actually reduce costs in the long run. It’s simple – providing long-term benefits like retirement plans or investment advice is a way to incentivize employees to stay with your firm, which reduces turnover costs.

That’s because the process of hiring employees is both time and resource consuming. Think about the job advertisements, the testing and interview phase, the training and induction process, among other costs.

For companies based in the US, it is possible to use the PayScale online tool to calculate the true cost of employee turnover for your firm. Otherwise, calculate it manually.

4. Want a healthy and active team? Take matters into your own hand.

Sometimes employees just need a little push. For instance, if a firm is already providing a gym membership, then employees might be more inclined to use it. Exercising helps employees stay healthy and active – ensuring they’ll not use up sick leaves.

Don’t forget mental health – it’s particularly important during any pandemic as social distancing policies and the economic consequences are a breeding ground for stress and anxiety. See what your SME can do to protect employees’ mental health.

If they do happen to fall ill, that will impact them negatively. Not only is it dealing with being sick, but it may also be dealing with the financial repercussions. Providing employees with group health insurance can assure them that they’re taken care of.

Another reason to consider health insurance is that they’re popular. Harvard Business Review found that health, dental, and vision insurance topped the list of desired benefits – 88% of respondents said they would consider it when choosing a job.

5. Using an employee benefits specialist takes away all the hassle.

Selecting and implementing an employee benefits plan does not have to be complicated. There are a wealth of resources on how to do so yourself on the Pacific Prime blog.

Of course, engaging an employee benefits specialist can make the process even easier. It’s as simple as having your requirements, your budgets, and consulting an expert who will lay out all your options for you.

If you’re looking for an expert, Pacific Prime is a good bet. Whether it’s a tailored employee benefits plan or company insurance solution, we’ve got over two decades of experience helping firms all over the world.

To find out more about the service we provide or for personalized advice, feel free to contact us to speak to one of our knowledgeable team members today. It’s a no-obligation advice, so there’s really no harm in doing so.

Senior Content Creator at Pacific Prime
Suphanida is a Senior Content Creator at Pacific Prime, an award-winning global health insurance and employee benefits specialist.

With over 5 years of experience in the field, Suphanida spends the majority of her day synthesizing complex pieces of insurance-related information and translating this into easy-to-understand, engaging, and effective content across a variety of media such as articles, infographics, whitepapers, videos, and more.

Suphanida is also responsible for planning and publishing three whitepapers released annually by Pacific Prime: The State of Health Insurance Report, The Cost of Health Insurance Report, and The Global Employee Benefits Trends Report. Additionally, she handles the LinkedIn profiles of Pacific Prime’s Founder and CEO, as well as Global HR Lead.

Suphanida’s strengths lie in her strong research and analytical skills, which she has gained from her BA in Politics from the University of Warwick and Erasmus Mundus Joint MA in Journalism from Aarhus University and City, University of London.

Being of Thai-Indian origin and having lived, studied, and worked in Thailand, the UK, and Denmark, Suphanida also has a unique, multicultural perspective that helps her understand the struggles of expats and globetrotters.

Outside of work, she enjoys traveling to new places and immersing herself in different cultures.
Suphanida Thakral