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3 Workplace Perks Small Businesses Should Offer in 2019

By Maurie Backman – Jan 10, 2019 at 8:18AM

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Forget salary -- these benefits are just as important.

In today's relatively strong job market, attracting and retaining talent can be a challenge for companies both large and small. If your business falls into the latter category, you might find that it's even more difficult to entice candidates to accept offers and prevent key players from jumping ship, especially when you're up against giant ventures with seemingly limitless resources.

That said, just because you can't offer the same salaries as your competition doesn't mean you can't compensate in other ways. Here are three workplace perks you can focus on instead.

Row of smiling professionally dressed adults.


1. Flexibility

A survey released last year found that only 30% of Americans are satisfied with their work-life balance. If you want to attract or retain more talent, a good way to go about it is to offer your employees more flexibility than your competition is willing to provide.

There are several ways to accomplish this. First, consider letting employees whose jobs aren't physically tied to an office work from home on either a partial or full-time basis. Doing so might enable them to better manage their home and family responsibilities, all the while keeping up with their job-related obligations.

Next, try letting employees adjust their hours to better suit their schedules. If you have folks who aren't morning people, let them come in an hour or two later and stay later to finish up. As long as the work at hand is getting done, it might not matter when it's getting done.

Finally, consider allowing employees to compress their work weeks or work weekends on occasion to take off more time during the week. Parents of school-aged children, for example, might prefer to work a Sunday-Thursday schedule if it means getting to volunteer at their kids' schools on Fridays. No matter what individual arrangements you land on, the key is to be open to trying different things out.

2. Paid time off

American companies are notoriously stingy when it comes to vacation time. If you want to make a strong case for talented folks to work for you, be prepared to be more generous than the competition. That could mean offering three to four weeks of vacation annually, as opposed to the 10 days the average employee gets each year. Or it could mean rolling out an unlimited-time-off policy with which employees are given the maximum amount of leeway. By allowing your employees to take time away from the office as needed, you'll gain their respect and perhaps even motivate them to work harder, which means that when they're on the clock, you might get more out of them.

3. Wellness programs

It's hard to make time for self-care when we're busy working 40 hours or more per week and tending to our social, household, and family obligations. That's why it pays to focus on employee wellness in the coming year. Make it easy for your workers to get the care they need by holding in-house workshops, yoga classes, or whatever else you think will contribute to your employees' general well-being.

At the same time, encourage healthy habits that promote wellness among your workers. Institute a mandatory afternoon break policy so that your employees can grab a breath of fresh air amid the chaos of the workday. Arrange for a shipment of healthy snacks to arrive at your office every week. Invest in some exercise equipment for employees to use as they wish. There are plenty of options to play around with that your workers will no doubt wind up appreciating.

Sometimes it's the little things that wind up attracting new talent and prompting existing employees to stay. If you want to build and maintain a strong team in 2019, focus on these key perks. All of them will constitute a solid investment in your company's success.

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