Human Resources:

Benefits and Employee Packages for Small Businesses

The degree of concern for health coverage and retirement plans depends on the age of an employee. A young man or a woman doesn’t really want to contribute as much towards their retirement plans compared to someone who is 50. Health coverage is similar, with a young person wanting to reduce their co-payments and an older person requiring more benefits like longer hospital stays and surgeries. This becomes an even bigger problem when it comes time to choose between jobs. The question usually arises with smaller companies whose benefits and employee packages are not as attractive as larger companies. You might like the freedom of the smaller outfit but depending on your demographic, a larger company might be a reality.

In the health benefits department, smaller companies differ sharply with larger companies because of two reasons:

  • Short-term disability is not available with smaller companies
  • Life insurance is not standard

These are two things that older, married, or people with children might think hard about before they make a decision.

401(k) and other retirement plans don’t take precedent at smaller companies. They might have them but they don’t really contribute much money to them, only sticking with the minimum. Because the companies are usually formed by the younger generation, it’s a little harder for the 25-year-old owner of the company to understand the dilemmas facing a 55-year-old employee.

But the one thing that you can do for them is offer them the choices. Don’t make decisions for them. Ask individuals what they want and try to make the plans for each person that fits most of his or her needs. This is one advantage that larger companies don’t have over smaller ones.