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Business Unplugged™
This blog features Carol Roth's tough love on business and entrepreneurship, as well as insights from Carol's community of contributors.

Providing Benefits May Have Big Benefits for Your Company

Written By: Carol Roth | No Comments

This post brought to you by MetLife Small Business. The content and opinions expressed below are that of Carol Roth – Carolroth.com.

feeling goodAdministrative burden or sound business strategy? This is an issue that small business owners will need to weigh when they consider whether providing comprehensive benefits makes sense for their company.

Small businesses need to do more with less and contain costs, but often there are investments to be made that can yield some nice returns. While there may be challenges to consider, there also are some compelling pros that you might want to think about.

Pros
There is something to be said for taking care of your employees so that they can take care of your business. Everybody likes to feel special. Providing a comprehensive benefits package can make your employees understand that you care about them as people, not just faceless bodies doing a job.

Benefits, combined with good leadership skills, can make employees feel like they are important and valued. That is good for job performance as well as retention. Losing a good employee can be extremely disruptive for a small business, where every contributor is unique and frequently critical.

And let’s face it, preventive maintenance is a good thing – for a car or a body. Regular vision and dental care can save a ton of headaches and expenses down the road.

Sure, your employees could pay out of pocket – but will they? I have a colleague who hasn’t been to the eye doctor or gotten new glasses in five years. Not coincidentally, that was when her corporate vision benefit ran out. That’s just not smart – or good for business.

And gum disease has been linked to heart problems. I am thinking you want your employees healthy and on the job. Just saying…

Is an ounce of prevention really worth a pound of cure? It just might be.

MetLife logo

Pros from MetLife
MetLife recently published a white paper titled Five Secrets of Employee Retention – How small businesses can ensure they keep their best and brightest. Here is an excerpt:

Great employees are the lifeblood of any small business. However, as the job market accelerates, even happy workers may be tempted to explore whether the grass is greener at another company.

Losing employees is a concern for most small businesses, not least because of the cost: a study from the Center for American Progress estimated that replacing an employee costs, on average, 20 percent of the employee’s annual salary. So if a worker making $50,000 a year quits, you’ll pay roughly $10,000 to cover the lost productivity costs and then recruit and train someone new.

“At a small business, everyone is that much more important; you’re a bigger piece of the pie,” says Dawn Fay, New York-based district president for staffing firm Robert Half. “There’s the cost of losing someone, but you also run the risk of losing other employees or burning people out as they carry a larger workload, which can affect your client service and product and ultimately impact your revenue.”

For small companies, keeping the right people in the right seats is paramount. Here are five ways to improve your employee retention and ensure your best and brightest stick around.

You can access the whitepaper and continue reading on MetLife. There are some fantastic suggestions for your small business so I recommend that you check it out.

Challenges
The biggest cons are the associated costs of the plans, and the costs of administration of the actual benefits.

Small businesses may not have a dedicated HR representative or function, so they will need to consider who would be responsible for answering any questions about the benefits that employees might have, and who would be responsible for any requisite paperwork.

Companies like MetLife have worked to simplify this for small businesses (companies with 2-99 employees) by tailoring specific products at the right price point for small businesses.

The business also benefits from having a single company to deal with for dental, vision, disability, and life insurance, which is a big plus because it simplifies administration.

the right decisionDecision
Every business is different, and you will need to make the final decision for yours.

Whatever your decision, you may find value going through the evaluation process because even if now is not the right time to provide comprehensive benefits, you may decide that it is something you want to budget for and add in the future.

**For more information on business benefits, visit MetLife Benefit Trends and also tune in when I host the Benefit Your Business podcast sponsored by MetLife on June 29th**

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Article written by
Carol Roth is a national media personality, ‘recovering’ investment banker, investor, speaker and author of the New York Times bestselling book, The Entrepreneur Equation. She is currently an on-air contributor for the national cable television station CNBC, the pre-eminent name in business news, and the host and co-producer of The Noon Show, a current events talk show on WGN Radio, one of the top stations in the country. Carol multimedia commentary covers business and the economy, current events, politics and pop culture topics. Carol has helped her clients complete more than $2 billion in capital raising and M&A transactions. She is a Top 100 Small Business Influencer (2011 &2012) and has her own action figure. Twitter: @CarolJSRoth