Employees of startup companies probably consider themselves pretty lucky. According to an article in Forbes startup employees benefit from the “startup culture,” which breeds collaboration as well as from a sense of ownership and visibility that comes from being with a company since its inception. For many startup employees, these factors alone are enough to keep them engaged and on board with the company for years to come.
But if you are at the head of a startup company, you may want to consider the impact of offering a formal benefits program to your employees. A recent article in Entrepreneur reports that “MetLife’s annual study of employee benefits trends found that benefits can be even more important than advancement opportunities and company culture in fostering employee loyalty.” This is a key factor to keep in mind, particularly when considering the time, money, and energy it takes to recruit and retain talented staff. In addition to keeping your staff happy, offering formal benefits may also be a way to distinguish you from competitors when you’re recruiting new staff, since “only 28 percent of businesses with fewer than 10 employees offer health insurance.”
Here are some important tips to keep in mind if you are thinking of establishing a formal benefits program for your startup company:
1) Start with the basics, such as health insurance and disability insurance. Save the fancier perks for later, when you have established your company on solid financial ground.
2) Manage expectations, for yourself and for your team. Offering any kind of formal benefits at all puts you in a better position than most small companies; asking for employee contributions is not only reasonable but will likely be necessary. And, avoid cutting back benefits at all costs.
3) Take advantage of health-insurance subsidies, which are now available under the Affordable Care Act.
4) Get a broker. You’re busy trying to make your business a success. Once you know the basics of what benefits you want to offer your employees, leave the details and logistics to a broker who knows the in’s and out’s of benefits planning. The best part? There’s no extra charge for using a broker.
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Whether you’re an entrepreneur who wants to attract and retain the best staff as you build and grow a successful business or a leader at an established company that wants to gain a recruiting edge, the Robin Weingast team can help you establish and analyze your employee benefits. Contact us today for a free consultation or a free analysis of your current plan. Our business is to make sure your benefits are working….for you.