Business owners want to know how to attract top candidates for job openings and keep their best employees from straying to competitors.

Therefore, the question arises: Do employees want higher salaries, or do they value a great benefits package more?

Companies with great perks

Google employees can take advantage of yoga classes, chair massages, haircuts and chef-prepared lunches. Twitter employees enjoy improv classes, acupuncture and catered meals daily. Other companies offer benefits such as scholarship programs for the children of employees, special events and free food. Fitness classes are popular benefits at many companies.

What you must provide

The law requires you to provide certain benefits:

  • You must allow employees to take time off to serve on a jury, perform military service and vote.
  • You must provide workers’ compensation and comply with all requirements.
  • You must withhold taxes from paychecks.
  • You must comply with federal laws such as the Family and Medical Leave Act.

Employee favorites

Unless your business is located in Hawaii, you do not have to offer a health care plan. You are not required to offer dental or vision plans either, although all of these are much in demand. Other benefits that employees favor are retirement and life insurance plans. If you are offering a paid vacation plan, you will probably want to offer paid sick leave as well.

The benefits to you

If your business is in its infancy, you might worry about offering benefits that cost a lot of money, such as a company health care plan. When you are trying to decide what to put into your benefits package, think about what employees covet most today, perks that are more important than salary considerations. Allowing them more vacation time and a good work-life balance, for example, would cost you nothing and perhaps offset the expense of a good health care plan.

Give careful consideration to providing an attractive benefits package. Your employees will be happier, they will call in sick less often and they will be more dynamic achievers. You will reap what you sow, and your company will prosper in the long run.