Most Small Businesses Plan On Offering New Employee Benefits This Year

Most small businesses—56 percent—plan on offering new employee benefits in 2019, most frequently paid time off and health benefits. Business-to-business research, ratings and review firm Clutch, drawing from a survey of 529 small-business owners and managers, reports that employers most often introduce new benefits because of employee requests, although the 30 percent of small businesses without formal HR resources are far less likely to do so.

The survey found that small businesses offering new benefits are most likely to offer paid time off (19 percent), health benefits (15 percent) and retirement benefits (11 percent). Clutch notes that offering new benefits can reduce employee turnover, and that these benefits are often less expensive over time than the cost of recruiting and training new employees.

“You’ve already invested the time, energy and money to train [your employees],” says Bethany Holliday, director of human resources for Cornerstone Insurance Group & Employer Solutions, an employee benefits and business insurance firm. “It costs a whole lot less to keep people happy than it does to try and find new people.”

However, nearly one-third of small businesses lack formal HR resources— such as an in-house HR staff, outsourced HR functions, or a contract with an HR consultant. And among companies without dedicated HR resources, only one in 10 offer benefits to their employees. Meanwhile, 64 percent of companies with HR resources offer benefits to their employees.

“I think organizations see the value in having an HR person or working with an HR consultant,” says Matthew Burr, founder and president of Burr Consulting, a human resources consulting firm. “Just to understand how to do certain things and really understand how to execute…I don’t think there’s an opportunity anymore just to skate by.”

Clutch reports that 30 percent of small businesses offering new benefits are doing so to fulfill employee requests. More than one-quarter (27 percent) are doing so as a means of improving morale and reducing turnover. Only 13 percent of companies are offering new benefits because they are required by law or as a result of union negotiations (nine percent).

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