Employee Benefits: How, When, and Why You Should Offer Them!

Employee Benefits

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A growing business can mean many things, like a bigger team and a larger budget. That means you might also be thinking about employee benefits and how best to offer them. Luckily, there are tons of options out there, so you’re bound to find at least a few that work for you (and a few you really shouldn’t skip out on).

Why Should I Offer Employee Benefits?

When we say employee benefits, we aren’t just talking about health and dental insurance, though that is a major part of it. The job market is a highly competitive place and most businesses will have to fight for the most highly-skilled people, not the other way around. 

Offering a variety of benefits is a way for your business to stand out and entice applicants. Additionally, many benefits not only encourage loyalty and long-term retention (supplemented by a good wage), but they also show a commitment to your employees, which they return in the form of dedication and productivity.

When Should I Offer Employee Benefits?

The truth is that there is no rule of thumb for when to offer benefits. While some places have laws that require businesses over a certain size to offer things like health insurance, it varies from place to place. Some companies wait until they’ve grown, and some offer it to as few as 5 employees.

How Should I Offer Employee Benefits?

This is the fun part! Well, as fun as can be expected.

As we said before, health and dental are just the beginning, and if you think that offering those two things will put you ahead of the competition, think again. Since the pandemic, that goes for things like flexible work schedules too. Offering a few days a week at home or a fully-remote schedule is now much more the norm than the thing that will put you above other job offers.

So, what else can you offer? Well, employee benefits typically fall into a couple of categories:


One way you might gain an edge is by going with a Health Spending Account, something that can actually benefit the employer with a tight budget as well. It allows for employees to use their benefits on whichever eligible medical expense they want while making sure their premiums and costs don’t jump up. If that employee doesn’t need glasses, why not allow them to spend that extra money on more dental coverage?

Another thing that might set you apart is something called a Wellness Spending Account. Similar to the HSA, it allows employees to spend the money where they really want to, but this time on things like athletic attire, gym memberships, and nutrition.

Various types of insurance (life, disability, etc.) also fall under this category.


RRSP or pension contributions used to be the norm, now, not so much. Offering matching or 50% contributions to their retirement plans can actually be a bonus that many companies are no longer offering.


Once again, just offering hybrid, remote, and paid sick days, are usually not differentiating enough to tip the scales, it just puts you in the running. If you want to push the ball ahead, you’ll want to offer paid time off right away (instead of being earned after a few years) and flexible work hours. If someone prefers working 7 to 3 as opposed to 9-5, and your business can allow for that, it’s a nice benefit.


This last one is where you can really set yourself apart, and the more creative, the better.

You could offer a once-a-month gift card for employees to get their lunch delivered, discounts on your services or products, profit sharing, stock options, office supplies and equipment, the list goes on.

Another thing to keep in mind is that when offering some of these benefits, don’t always try to shoehorn culture building into it. You definitely want some of it though! Taking a Friday off to get together for some team-building is awesome, but make sure to also give some time they can fill with anything they want.

Want to learn more about benefits, and more specifically, HRA benefits? Don’t miss the latest episode of the Thinc Underground Podcast!

This week’s episode welcomes educator, Co-Founder of Kibono, and author of Fortune or Fiction: Why The ‘Be Your Own Banker’ Concept Is Flawed, Adam Niman. Join host Arif Khan as he speaks to Adam about the misconceptions and antiquated way people still think about group benefits. “I think health spending accounts are the only form of benefits. If you want insurance, let the insurance companies deal with it. It’s effectively cutting out the middle man from transitions I don’t believe they should be involved in.”

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