As a small business owner, the bottom line is always a top concern — and employees are the lifeblood that keep your bottom line healthy. After all, a business can’t run without employees who are dedicated and hardworking. Employee benefits have been shown to go hand-in-hand with keeping employees not only hardworking, but loyal as well.
While there are some benefits the U.S. Small Business Administration notes you are required to offer by law, other perks can go a long way in keeping employees happy and productive. There are plenty of ways to maximize the benefits you offer employees without breaking the bank. Here are five affordable ideas you can incorporate into your employee benefits package and perks you can offer that employees really value:
- Match work with lunch: Food goes a long way — by providing lunch to employees during busy times, you can give them the break they need to keep going and you show them their hard work is appreciated. Plus, Lawyers.com notes that the cost of providing a meal to keep employees on-premise and working is a deductible expense for small business owners, so this employee benefit doesn’t have to come out of your own pocket.
- Give them a free upgrade: Small business owners can outfit employees with the latest cell phones and write off 100 percent of the purchase cost of the device, as long as the phone is used for business purposes 50 percent of the time. You ensure that your staff is reachable, and as TurboTax notes, employees can write off the portion of their monthly bill that goes toward business use.
- Keep them healthy: As a business owner, offering gym membership assistance may sound like a big expense, but according to the Houston Chronicle, the amount put toward subsidizing gym memberships (paying for a set portion of the cost) is deductible. The added benefit to your business also goes a long way — if you operate in a physically intensive field, having your staff stay fit is very important to maintaining your bottom line.
- Celebrate together: Whether it’s a throwing a holiday party or a family-style BBQ, Entrepreneur notes that celebrating special moments strengthens the employee-employer bond and is a great benefit to offer for morale. The expense of hosting these employee entertainment events is also easy on the bottom line, with 50 percent of costs being tax deductible.
- Consider SHOP-ing for health benefits: Health care benefits are often seen as too expensive to provide from the small business ownership perspective. However, the government has made it easier to provide health benefits for your employees by going through the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) Marketplace, a program that you can enroll in at any time that gives you the flexibility to decide how much you pay in premiums and the level of coverage you provide employees. There’s also a tax credit equal to 50 percent of the premium costs you spend for your employees’ health care package if you go through the program.
By implementing these benefits, you keep your employees happy and, as a result, allow your business to thrive — without damage to your bottom line.