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Business + Management: Marty Mcghie

What Printers Must Offer to Attract and Retain Employees

To lure top talent, it takes more than competitive pay.

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HIRING AND RETAINING quality employees is one of the biggest struggles we encounter in today’s business climate. The need to offer competitive wages and to continually monitor the marketplace is critical. But don’t fall into the trap of believing it’s the only thing you can offer your current and potential employees.

Providing a robust benefit package is essential in today’s employment environment and can provide you with the advantage you need in attracting and retaining quality employees. The following are some ideas to consider when deciding on which employee benefits may be the best suited for your business. To help you with some analysis, I’m dividing employee benefits into two groups: the “must have” and the “nice to have.”

The “must have” category includes some of the obvious benefits: a PTO (vacation) policy, a sick leave policy, and paid holidays. While these seem like no-brainers, you may consider a few tweaks to these basic benefits. Many companies now combine PTO and sick leave into one combined benefit. If you currently offer an employee 10 days of vacation time and 5 days of sick leave, you may choose to merge them into one PTO policy of 15 days. This approach can serve as a win-win for both employer and employee. Employers avoid having workers take sick days off when perhaps they aren’t really sick and employees enjoy the additional vacation days if they’re able to remain healthy. In addition to the traditional holidays, you may also consider adding one or two floating holidays or offer everyone PTO for their birthday to use whenever they wish. This isn’t overly expensive and can be very meaningful to your employees.

There’s one more benefit to this “must have” category: a 401k retirement plan or something similar. Company-sponsored retirement plans used to be an optional perk. However, if your company currently doesn’t offer a 401k type plan, you’re definitely an exception to the norm and could be at a severe disadvantage to businesses competing for your employees. Not only is it necessary to offer a plan, it’s important to participate in matching your employee contributions in some way. Retirement plans are expensive to the company, but they provide a critical connection to attracting and retaining high-quality employees.

The category of “nice to have” can include benefits such as dental care, flexible spending accounts (FSA’s) or health savings accounts (HSA’s), short-term and long-term disability plans, and life insurance plans. I don’t believe it’s necessary for the company to cover the cost of these plans, even though traditionally they’re rather inexpensive. Simply offering your employees the opportunity to participate in a disability plan or a life insurance plan can be a positive incentive to them. Be flexible in your approach. For several years, our company has paid the full premium to each full-time employee for a basic dental plan. Then, if they choose to add dependents to the plan, they in turn pay for the additional premium. Same goes for FSA’s and HSA’s. These can be a huge benefit to your staff and cost little or nothing to you as a company to set up and administer.

To compete in today’s extremely challenging employment market, you have to be on your game. I urge you to examine your current offerings and identify areas where you can provide additional value to your current and future staff.

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Marty Mcghie is CEO/partner of Signs.com, an online provider of custom signage based in Sale Lake City. You can email him at . marty@signs.com.

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