Employee Benefit Packages: What Can I Offer My Fitness Studio Team?
In a competitive labor market, studio owners have had to flex their muscles to stand out and attract prospective new team members. One way they've made the jump is by offering increasingly robust employee benefits packages to both part- and full-time employees—and it appears they're on the right track.
Nearly 79% of employees in a recent Glassdoor survey said they would take additional benefits over a pay increase. And overall, according to a research report by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), benefits were the third-most important job satisfaction contributor—after compensation and pay and respectful treatment of employees at all levels. So, a solid benefits package can help you meet your goals and retain talented employees.
Read on for insight into what employee benefits packages look like and what you might offer your staff.
Employee benefits in general
While there are standard benefits many employees expect to receive, some benefits are required by law. These include:
- Medicare and social security contributions: All employees in the U.S. are legally required to pay both social security and Medicare taxes in the form of payroll deductions. The employer portion is 6.2 % for social security and 1.45% for Medicare.
- Workers' compensation insurance: U.S. employers are legally required to provide their employees with workers' compensation insurance (less than $400 a year for small businesses, on average). This type of insurance covers costs associated with medical care, ongoing treatment, rehabilitation, and paid leave for any employees who are injured or become ill because of a situation that occurred in or related to the workplace.
- Unemployment insurance: Another insurance policy you'll need to pay for is unemployment insurance. This kicks in if one of your employees involuntarily loses their job during a layoff. The total employer amount is 6%, but most states have a 5.4% credit, meaning most employers only pay 0.6%.
- Health insurance: If your business employs 50 or more full-time employees, the Affordable Care Act requires you to provide your employees with healthcare coverage. This runs about $500 per month for single coverage and just under $1,300 per family.
- Family and medical leave: The Family Medical Leave Act will also affect businesses with 50 or more employees and requires a company to provide their employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave a year with job security. (Only California, New Jersey, and Rhode Island require employer-paid medical leave).
While the cost of offering benefits can add up, it can be helpful to think of it as part of the overall employee compensation package. The overall cost of offering benefits to private business employees breaks down to $10.53 per hour per employee in addition to their average salary and wage.
Need help finding the right benefits and providers for your employees? Consider working with an employee benefits broker, which is a licensed insurance professional who can help you find benefits programs and vendors at a price point that works for your budget.
In the past, employer-owned and employer-selected benefits were the paths most businesses followed when planning their benefits packages. Today, many small business owners are turning toward consumer-oriented benefits—employer-funded and employee-selected—instead. These might include a health reimbursement arrangement (HRA), a health savings account (HSA), or stipends for wellness activities.
With consumer-oriented benefits, you give your employees a set dollar amount to spend and allow them to customize their benefits to meet their needs. This might include, a health spending account, bonus pay, or childcare benefits, for example.
There are also "optional" extras fitness business owners can use to sweeten the deal when recruiting employees. You could offer life and disability insurance, professional development resources (like CEUs), reward programs, and/or childcare benefits.
Is it worth the investment?
As a small business owner, providing employee benefits packages can seem overwhelming, especially if you're unsure what return you'll see on your investment. But to attract and retain the best employees, you should try to go above and beyond to offer a competitive benefits package.
If you aren't in a financial position to offer a robust benefits package now, you can get the ball rolling to plan for added benefits down the line by taking these next steps:
- Research the different types of benefits and identify your top priorities
- Find the right provider and get quotes for how much each benefit costs
- Break down how much your entire benefits package will cost on a per-employee basis
Once you know how much your ideal employee benefits package will cost, you can budget accordingly and really start to sweeten your offerings.