Small businesses are at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to attracting and retaining good employees. Beyond the basic 401(k) and health/life insurance benefits, a small business owner is hard-pressed to find that they have the finances necessary to offer attractive employee benefits that allow them to compete for top notch talent.

Here are three affordable and popular benefits that not only attract talent, but build an inclusive company culture.

1. One week of emergency pay. Above and beyond disability and FMLA requirements, offer one week salary in case of medical or other emergencies. This benefit helps relieve the burden of whatever misfortune has befallen an employee and develops a feeling of loyalty between the employee and employer, strengthening the corporate culture.

2. Good free food.  Everyone likes free food and it doesn’t have to be an elaborate catered lunch. From pizza Friday to Wednesday doughnut day, this simple idea gives people a chance to take a break from the monotony, as well as provide another opportunity to socialize off the clock. Another appealing and affordable idea is a monthly potluck; the company provides the entrée (burgers, chicken on the grill, maybe steak) while the staff collaborates on the side dishes. People come together and connect over food, enhancing the company culture.

3. Make the break room a game room. Darts, pool, foosball and other arcade games give employees a chance to decompress and have fun, raising their commitment and creativity. The company also benefits, as employees that ordinarily would not interact outside of work are brought together in play. Bonding with co-workers outside of work related activities is an important aspect of building a healthy company culture.

These three simple and affordable ideas can help attract and retain the type of people your business needs to be successful.

If you have questions or would like to learn more, please reach out to Genesis HR Solutions at or 800-367-8367.

Genesis HR Solutions is the premier PEO provider for Massachusetts based businesses.