Driving Transactions
Tuesday, July 23, 2024

BY AMY COOLEY

In the HR landscape of small businesses, especially within the chauffeured transportation industry, creating a robust benefits package is crucial for attracting and retaining talent. The challenges of recruitment and retention can be fierce, and offering an enticing benefits package can be a game-changer. Let’s review some key insights gleaned from Forbes and learn how to design a compelling benefits package that aligns with your company’s goals and values.

e Understanding Employee Needs
Before diving into the specifics of benefits, it’s important to understand your employees’ needs and preferences. Different demographics may prioritize different benefits. For instance, younger employees might value flexible work hours and professional development opportunities, while older employees may focus more on retirement benefits and health care coverage.

HR Coach REQUIRED BENEFITS

When it comes to benefits, there are certain legal requirements. Some are guided by federal mandate and others vary from state to state. And in some cases, small businesses (those under a specified number of employees) are exempted from the requirement. You are likely aware already of this prime example of a federally mandated benefit: Every US employer of any size is required to provide Federal Social Security and Medicare contributions.

Workers’ compensation and unemployment insurance are examples of state-regulated benefits, so you will need to make yourself familiar with your state’s guidance.

Mandatory leave benefits are legislated on both the federal and state level. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a familiar example. Note that FMLA does not apply to small businesses with fewer than 50 employees. However, do check into your state’s requirements for paid family and medical leave as well as paid sick leave, jury duty leave, and other mandatory leave of absence regulations.

Small businesses with fewer than 50 full-time equivalent employees are not mandated by federal law to provide health insurance. However, offering health care coverage can still be a powerful tool for attracting and retaining talent. In fact, a finding by Charles Schwab suggests that 84 percent of people consider health insurance a “must” when looking for employment.

You’ve also likely heard of COBRA continuation coverage, which at a federal level applies to employers with 20 or more employees. Again, remember that many states have legislated their own requirements, so don’t assume you are exempt without confirming the rules in your locality. Likewise, short-term disability insurance is mandated only in a few states and territories (Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, ­Hawaii, and California).

VOLUNTARY BENEFITS

❱ Core Benefits
Health care coverage is often the cornerstone of a benefits package. As highlighted in Forbes, offering health insurance can significantly enhance employee satisfaction and well-being. Small businesses can explore options like group health plans or health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) to provide comprehensive coverage while managing costs effectively. When selecting health care coverage benefit, adding dental and/or vision coverage is typically a low-cost option to consider and can be a meaningful addition for your employees.

❱ Retirement Benefits
Planning for retirement is a significant concern for practically every employee. Consider offering retirement benefits such as a 401(k) plan or simple IRA with employer-matching contributions and possibly even profit sharing. This not only helps your staff save for the future but also demonstrates your commitment to their long-term financial security.

❱ Flexible Work Arrangements
In today’s evolving work culture, flexibility is highly valued. Incorporate flexible work arrangements such as remote work or flexible hours, allowing employees to achieve a better work-life balance. This flexibility can boost morale and productivity.

❱ Professional Development
Investing in employees’ professional growth not only benefits them individually but also adds value to your business. Provide opportunities for training, skill development workshops, and educational assistance programs. This not only enhances employee skills but also fosters loyalty and engagement.

❱ Wellness Programs
Employee wellness should not be overlooked. Consider implementing wellness programs that promote physical and mental well-being. This can include gym memberships, mental health resources, and wellness workshops. A healthy workforce is more productive and less prone to absenteeism. And don't forget the breakroom snacks: Consider healthier alternatives for on-the-go energy.

❱ Financial Wellness
In addition to retirement benefits, consider offering financial wellness programs. This can include financial planning services, access to financial advisors, or even employee assistance programs (EAPs) that provide support for various life challenges.

❱ Communication and Transparency
Effective communication is key to ensuring employees understand and appreciate their benefits package. Clearly communicate all benefits, eligibility criteria, enrollment processes, and any changes or updates. Encourage open dialogue and feedback to continuously improve the benefits package based on employee needs.

❱ Budgeting and Compliance
While designing a benefits package, it’s crucial to balance employee needs with budgetary constraints. Evaluate your budget and explore cost-effective options without compromising on the quality of benefits. Additionally, stay updated with regulatory requirements and compliance standards to avoid legal issues.

❱ Customization and Feedback
Every business is unique, so tailor your benefits package to align with your company culture and values. Regularly seek feedback from employees through surveys or focus groups to understand their evolving needs and preferences. Flexibility and customization can make your benefits package more attractive and impactful.

Creating a comprehensive benefits package in the industry requires strategic planning, empathy, and a deep understanding of employee needs. By offering a well-rounded package with benefits like health care coverage, retirement benefits, flexibility, professional development, wellness programs, and transparent communication, you can attract and retain a strong team, boost employee morale, and drive your operation’s success. Investing in your employees’ well-being and happiness is an investment in the future of your business.   [CD0624]


Amy Cooley is HR Leader for the LMC Groups. She can be reached at amy@lmcpeople.com.