Salaries are likely one of your small business’ largest expenditures. Between acquiring talented prospects and keeping up with annual cost of living increases and typical employee raise expectations, the amount you spend on salaries only seems poised to keep growing! Save your business significant dough by offering one of these 5 low cost benefits as an alternative to a higher salary. These benefits will also give your company an overall competitive edge when it comes to attracting the top talent!
1. Flexible Hours
The easiest and most convenient benefit for a small business to offer their employees instead of a higher salary is flexible work hours. Allowing your employees or recruits to structure their day in a manner that best suits them makes for a very attractive, and unique offer. It won’t take much effort or money on your part- just give them an office key to open the office early, or to close up shop. To make sure your whole team remains on the same page, simply schedule meetings in the middle to the day to catch everyone while they’re in the office.
2. Work-from-home Options
Whether you choose to offer your employees and recruits occasional work-from-home days, a partial work-from-home schedule, or allow full remote working opportunities, your company will have the competitive advantage over many of your more traditional peers. Employees highly value the ability to work-from-home, even if it’s just occasionally. Your company will also increase its potential workforce, as working-from-home will attract non-local talent, parents, or anyone with interesting and unique life circumstances.
3. Additional Vacation Days
While this offer seems like it it may detract from your company’s bottom line interest, the reality is that most American workers rarely use up all of their vacation days (40% of workers in a 2014 GlassDoor study only used a quarter of their allowed days), but the option of having more days off is incredibly attractive to a potential or current employee.There are a variety of ways to structure this benefit included the ability to earn extra days, or even just allowing roll over.
4. Provide Lunch and Snacks
Take a move from the playbook of America’s top tech companies like Google and Apple- offer to provide your employees with food, lunch and snacks. It’s easy to stock up your office kitchen using delivery services like Fresh Direct, and the overall cost of the food will be significantly less than the cost of increased salaries for all your employees. As an added benefit, having lunch resources in-house means your employees will spend less time going out for food, and will likely result in them returning to work more promptly (this is also a strategy of Publishing giants Hearst and Conde Nast).
5. Free Applicable Training & Classes
This benefit is a win-win for your business. The cost of an applicable training or college course or two will be less expensive than a salary increase, especially if you work out a group deal with your local college. Your employees or recruits will appreciate this benefit, and you’ll end up with a more skilled (and therefore valuable) employee! To make this option even more low cost, you could offer to personally train and teach your employees on management tactics, or in other aspects of your industry.
These out-of-the-box alternatives to salaries increases will create goodwill with your employees, give you a competitive edge as a workplace, and most important of all, will allow you to save significant amounts of money for your small business. What other creative alternative-to-salary benefits have you developed for your current or potential employees? Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #BetterBenefits
Our guest blogger today is Diana Mackie from Funding Gates