6 New Ways to Pay for Employee Benefits

How do you acquire the best talent? With the best benefits. Not every business can be competitive in terms of salary, but salary isn’t the only thing that employees look at. As a cost-conscious employer, you need to find affordable new ways to offer your employees the best benefits — and there are a lot of things you can try. 

1. Create a Flexible Savings Account

Flexible Savings Account (FSAs) make it possible for employees to set aside their pre-tax income for use on qualified medical expenses. Employees love FSAs because they give them more control over their medical spending, with flexible contributions and the ability to spend as they need. An FSA will apply not only to them but can also to dependents in their household.

For an employer, an FSA can amount to significant savings over time. Income that employees set aside into the FSA won’t be taxed on the employer side either. This benefit often doesn’t cost an employer anything at all, as the fees are paid for through the tax savings.

2. Downsize Your Office with Flex-Time and Work from Home

Modern employees love flexible working arrangements. Today, work-life balance is more important than ever. Many high-value employees are going to be looking for the opportunity to work from home, or the opportunity to set their own hours.

By reducing the amount of time employees spend at the office, you can also reduce the size of your office and ultimately reduce your overhead. Many companies today are working almost entirely with a remote workforce, and are able to produce incredibly lean budgets as a consequence.

3. Develop Health Initiatives to Reduce Health Costs

Healthy employees are valuable employees. By developing health initiatives such as group fitness classes, you can ensure that your employees remain satisfied and active. Health initiatives reduce the amount of time employees take off work, and they’ve been shown to be particularly effective at boosting mood and morale. Health initiatives can even double as team-building exercises, by giving employees goals to work towards together.



4. Look for Ways to Incorporate Energy-Efficient Programs

Many employees love energy-efficient programs; it’s a way to show that a company has the same values as they do. Energy-efficient programs can also save a company a lot of money when implemented correctly. Examples of energy-efficient programs include:

  • Using less paper and other one-off products. When employees use less paper, they reduce costs for the office. Efforts to digitize files rather than sending paper copies will not only reduce paper but improve employee productivity.
  • Starting carpooling programs. An employer-sponsored carpool program will make it easier for employees to get to work on time, while also making it easier for employees to save on gas.

These are simple ways to save the company money while also showing that the company takes the environment and its employees seriously.

5. Save on Taxes With a Tuition Reimbursement Program

Like flexible contributions, a Tuition Reimbursement Program saves both the employee and the company money. Employers are able to give employees a certain amount of untaxed income towards their tuition. Since it’s untaxed on both sides, employers can save money through taxes by offering tuition reimbursement rather than increased salaries.

Tuition reimbursement also benefits employers in another way: it gives them the opportunity to further develop out their existing employees, in the hopes that they will bring new skills, education, and experience to the business. Employees who are able to develop themselves professionally are more likely to stick with a business and are more likely to feel satisfied with their jobs.

6. Make Deals With Local Vendors for Discounts and Freebies

Want to offer your employees even more? Consider working with local companies. Often, they’ll be more than happy to offer discounts and freebies in exchange for advertising. This strengthens your ties with the local community, while also giving employees meaningful perks and bonuses. Think about reaching out to a local coffee or tea shop: it’s something that most employees will enjoy, and will cost you very little (if anything at all).

Giving your employees the best benefits doesn’t have to be expensive. By taking advantage of tax-advantaged programs (and getting a little creative), you can offer your employees superior, compelling benefits with very little cost to you. Flexible contributions, discounts, and health initiatives are all things that help employees get healthier and feel more satisfied, and will yield dividends in direct and indirect ways.

Start by looking into programs such as Flexible Spending Accounts and Tuition Reimbursement. To learn more about the benefits of flexible contributions, contact SMD Insurance at 510-895-4800 and download A Smart Small Business Tool for Employee Benefits Contributions.