Benefit, Here Are Your Articles for Monday, March 06, 2017
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Benefits You May Not Have Thought About


Have you thought about expanding the benefits you offer employees? Some of these may turn out to be less expensive than giving larger raises — and even more popular. Of course, not every benefit is workable for every company, but companies that do go above and beyond in what they offer may see improvement in morale and an edge in recruitment.

Gym Membership

This can help both the company and the employees: If you work out, you'll probably be healthier and take fewer sick days. Some may come early for a basketball game, do a lunchtime aerobics class or run laps after work. Some experts have said that when employees exercise more often and eat better, morale improves, productivity increases and health care costs go down. Everyone wins!

Companies can pay a flat monthly reimbursement fee or sometimes even strike a deal with a local gym or health club for employee discounts. Larger companies, of course, may even provide a gym on-site for employees.

Tuition Reimbursement

Many companies help reimburse employees for classes they take. (These are classes employees take on their own time, distinct from company-provided job training, typically done during business hours.) Employees get the benefits of increasing their knowledge, and the company gets a better-trained and educated workforce.

Companies often add limitations to the benefit. For example, there is typically a dollar limit to the amount an employee can submit each year. Also, management will likely want to approve the course of study, to make sure it is relevant to the job the employee has or is likely to be promoted into. It's appropriate for a bookkeeper, for example, to take classes in accounting, but not in English literature. Many companies also set goals, requiring a minimum grade for full reimbursement.

Some companies are nervous about offering this benefit, fearing that they'll pay to educate employees who will quickly depart for fresher fields, thanks to their new degrees. But a well-run company will provide additional challenges — and promotions — to better-educated staff, so few will need to leave to find better opportunities.

Extra Holiday Time

Companies may be able to grant this benefit at little cost to themselves. With travel and family plans, everyone gets a little busy at the end of December. Although some businesses, like retail stores, are extra busy, others find themselves in a lull. For example, a publisher that specializes in scholarly books shuts down from Christmas to New Year's Day, while keeping everyone on full salary. The company's authors and potential customers are academics, who have left their campuses, so there was little work getting done. It built up enormous goodwill at little cost to the business itself.

And this benefit doesn't have to be limited to December. A business that is busy in the winter but faces summer doldrums can close the week of July 4.


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Our firm provides the information in this e-newsletter for general guidance only, and does not constitute the provision of legal advice, tax advice, accounting services, investment advice, or professional consulting of any kind. The information provided herein should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional tax, accounting, legal, or other competent advisers. Before making any decision or taking any action, you should consult a professional adviser who has been provided with all pertinent facts relevant to your particular situation. The information is provided "as is," with no assurance or guarantee of completeness, accuracy, or timeliness of the information, and without warranty of any kind, express or implied, including but not limited to warranties of performance, merchantability, and fitness for a particular purpose.
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