It’s common knowledge that starting and growing a business comes with serious challenges. There are a million aspects involved in running a business and entrepreneurs must have the skills, time and mental strength to manage them all. It’s not easy to build the foundation of a successful business venture when you have limited resources at your disposal. It is therefore crucial to know how to make the most of what you have and find innovative strategies to help your startup grow.
When trying to prioritize their efforts, most business owners focus on aspects such as finding funding options, establishing profitable partnerships or recruiting talented employees. It’s natural to focus only on the essentials in the beginning, as you must first learn how to walk before you can run. Growing slowly and steadily is the safest way to keep a new business afloat.
But because of their limited budgets and the pressure to cut back on expenses as much as possible, many entrepreneurs make a huge mistake by not investing in their biggest assets: their employees. Of course, no one expects a startup to offer seasonal luxury escapes to their staff, but focusing on providing employee benefits should be a top priority for all businesses. Benefits are great for attracting new talent and keeping your existing employees happy and productive. These are some great benefits all startups should consider that won’t put a strain on their budget.
A Good PTO Policy
Apparently, employees working at companies who offer unlimited PTO policies are more likely to take less time off from work than those who have a limited pool of days at their disposal. The reason for this behavior is the pressure that workers with unlimited PTO experience. It seems that they are worried about not taking more time off than their peers, as that can make them look irresponsible and unprofessional. Needles to say, this can lead to tensions in the workplace and make them less productive.
A good PTO policy should be beneficial for both companies and their staff. Employers shouldn’t be concerned with constantly checking how workers use their time off and employees must feel like they have the freedom to take their own decisions as they see fit. The smartest way to ensure a good work-life balance for your employees is by having a limited PTO policy, but with more days off than other companies offer. 25 days, or more if you’re feeling generous, are usually enough to make the job more appealing.
Probably the benefit all candidates are interested in when applying for a position at a company is healthcare coverage. The prospect of starting a career at a company who provides little or no health insurance is not too attractive. With healthcare costs becoming more expensive by the day, it’s easy to understand why so many people are looking for organizations that offer this type of benefit. Besides, healthcare plans offered by companies usually have better coverage than those purchased individually on the insurance market. As a startup, you can’t expect to retain hard-working and reliable team members without offering anything in return. Health insurance shouldn’t even be considered a benefit, but as a must-have for all businesses. In the end, caring for the wellbeing of your staff means caring for your business.
We know that in a startup everyone is busy as a bee, trying to give their best to make the business thrive. But expecting your staff to work like little robots, in hopes you’ll reach your company goals faster, is a recipe for disaster. Even the most devoted and enthusiastic employees need to take a break from time to time. Otherwise all you’ll manage to get is a tired and unmotivated workforce on the brink of burnout, which is obviously counterproductive. Now we’re not saying you should take your employees on expensive cruises around the world, but planning regular team outings can provide that much needed breath of fresh air for your staff. The location is less important, what matters the most is to give employees the chance to relax and build valuable relationships outside work environment.
In today’s busy work environment, commuting has become a necessary evil. Nobody likes long commutes, but in most cases, they can’t be avoided. As an employer, you can make life easier for employees who commute daily to get to work. One way to do that is by offering free public transportation passes. Not only will workers appreciate it, but it’s also a measure that will make your company a bit eco-friendlier, by encouraging employees to leave their cars at home and take the bus or subway to work. Less cars in traffic means less pollution and a healthier environment for everyone.
For those who still need to use their cars, you can offer free parking. In the US, it’s becoming increasingly popular for companies to offer parking benefits to their employees. For example, in Philadelphia monthly parking services give employees the opportunity to ensure parking spaces for commuters, so they won’t lose time circling around for ages in search of an empty parking spot.
Startups usually have more relaxed policies, so a flexible working schedule can fit right in. If possible, allow your employees to work remotely. Whether they choose to work from the comfort of their house or another preferred location, remote employees are said to be more efficient and that can translate into an increased productivity. This is a benefit that can actually help you save some money, as you won’t have to pay for office space or commuting expenses. However, if you’re not comfortable with this work style, you can choose to establish a few work from home days.
There are other smaller benefits you can offer that your employees will appreciate just as much. You can partner with service providers in the local community and offer discounts and gifts at department stores, clubs, gyms, restaurants, cinema etc. Although they don’t seem like much, employees are attracted to these perks. Besides, they won’t leave a hole in your company’s budget either. You can even take things a step further and offer on-site benefits such as relaxation rooms or free food.