According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, there are more than 100 million startups launched each year. Although many of them don’t make it to scale, it’s still one of the fastest growing industries today.
When startups are successful and begin to take the shape of full-scale organizations, a lot of decisions have to be made. One of the most important decisions is determining what benefits will make up their employee benefits package.
Here is some guidance for tech start-up companies looking to provide a good starting benefits package.
Understanding the needs of your employees
The first step in building a benefits package is understanding the needs of your employees and prioritizing accordingly. To do so, take a good look at your employees and see what they have in common.
Although there may be some exceptions, a majority of the employees at a tech startup are going to be from the millennial or Gen Z generations. These two generations have very similar priorities and work requirements, but they are drastically different from preceding generations. These generations:
- Are technologically advanced.
- Absorb a lot of information quickly.
- Learn best visually.
- Value having a sense of purpose and direction.
- Have higher levels of self-confidence and autonomy.
- Socially, economically, and environmentally conscious.
- Better multitaskers than previous generations.
- College educated, but facing record amounts of student debt.
Although there may be some exceptions here and there, this is a good baseline to use when deciding on benefits offerings.
Offer benefits that meet those needs
Once you have a good idea of your workforce’s priorities and needs, you can build a benefits package that speaks to those needs. For organizations with particularly young employees, those types of benefits can include:
- Personal and professional development. Younger generations are not just thinking about their career positions now, but what their futures look like as well. Career rotation programs, internal initiatives, and learning and development programs are likely to appeal to younger workers.
- Financial literacy and assistance. CNBC reported that 80% of workers say they would value employer assistance in paying off student loan debt. Setting up programs to help address this concern is very valuable--it can be as simple as giving them access to repayment programs, or as complex as automatic payroll deductions. Additionally, set up programs that foster overall financial literacy, such as budgeting seminars, consultations with investment professionals, and workshops about saving for retirement and emergencies.
- Corporate citizenship. These generations are very involved in a wide variety of causes. Providing paid time off to volunteer and organizing workplace volunteer activities can be very rewarding to employees.
- Flexible schedules and time off. Offering flexible schedules is one of the most important benefits that can be offered to younger workers. It’s even more powerful than higher salary in attracting and retaining talent. Flexible schedules, telecommuting, and generous time off policies can increase work-life balance and reduce the amount of work that gets disrupted by having to take time off.
Don’t forget the basics
Even though ancillary benefits are popular and attractive, the basics like healthcare and retirement savings programs are still essential. Don’t forget to start from the basic coverage and build out from there. Doing so with your employees’ needs in mind will help tech start-ups create the most attractive and practical benefits packages.