When one thinks of benefits, they usually think of healthcare. It’s true, benefits are often referred to in that context. Benefits is an all-encompassing term that includes wellness, employee assistance, and a host of other things designed to care for the employee. These days, employee care is looked at from a more holistic perspective. What constituted as care before, such as medical, vision, and dental, has expanded to be much more robust. The truth of the matter is, small business benefits typically do not include much at all. That has to change.
It’s important to keep reassessing ways you can improve upon your small business. The wise small business leader is constantly challenging the status quo to see what can be improved. So much has been said about how COVID-19 has impacted the way small business works. Small business benefits are no exception to the rule. The times they are a-changing.
Small Business Benefits Don’t Work Anymore
The number one reason why small business benefits don’t work the way they used to is the average small business employee is a totally different kind of person. Small business looked a lot different 15 to 20 years ago. Most small businesses were family-run businesses. If there was an employee outside the family, it was usually on a part-time basis.
The average small business has 10 or fewer employees. But of those 10, more than one of them is a full-time worker. That was the way it has been for the last couple of decades but COVID-19 is changing things up a bit. Remote workers in small businesses are driving new human resource initiatives in small businesses because, frankly, hiring people to work for you full-time is a game-changer. Small business benefits don’t work well anymore because most small group health plans only cover the state the small business resides in. When you have full-time remote workers all over the country, you still have to offer them benefits. Not only that, but you have to comply with employment law in the state they reside in, not just yours.
Nearly 25% of all new small businesses started in the next year plan to have an entirely remote workforce. Those small business leaders are going to need a different solution for small business benefits than they had before.
What A Small Business Employee Needs Is Different
The stress in 2020 alone has challenged anyone’s resolve. Your employees are just like everyone else out there. Trying to do your job, take care of a family, navigate childcare and child education issues, and deal with financial insecurity is a lot for anyone. Stress is a factor for any employee that isn’t going away. Prolonged exposure to stress causes health issues and greatly impacts productivity. Small business leaders are challenged to take a good long look at how employee stress is impacting their business.
Most small business benefits programs do not include an Employee Assistance Program but for today’s employees, that is exactly what they need. Employee Assistance Programs are designed to meet the needs of employees who are struggling with a variety of life issues. These programs are important because they mitigate the life issues that employees have that can impact your business. Things like grief and substance abuse can negatively affect your small business. EAPs work with your employee so they can stay focused on being a productive, positive member of your workforce.
Many small business benefits are being revamped to include better paid time off this year. A 5-day sick leave is not enough time to recover from things like the Flu or COVID-19. Having kids in the home makes it very likely your employees are using their PTO to take care of their sick kids, not themselves. Sick employees are not productive and can infect the rest of your workforce, significantly impacting your bottom line. Extended PTO helps small business leaders and their employees see the bigger picture by allowing them to stay home and recover without worrying about paying the bills.
Small Business Leaders Should Consider PEOs For Benefits
It’s time for small businesses to take a new approach to meet the needs of their employees going forward. Where small business benefits packages fail, PEOs are the better option. PEOs are capable of offering so much more for a full-suite benefits program. If you have always wanted to offer your employees the kinds of benefits only your largest competitors could, PEOs are here to help make that dream a reality. If you’d like to find out how you can meet the changing needs of your employees with a PEO, we’d like to talk to you. Contact us today for a free consultation and put the power of a PEO to work for your small business.