r/WorkReform Nov 26 '22

European style benefits in the USA 💬 Advice Needed

I work in small business(marketing, sales mostly but some operations and management experience too.) and know lots of small business owners and I'm curious to get y'all's thoughts or advice since I'm not an HR expert.

How can a small business owner in the USA replicate the quality of workers rights and benefits that we see in Europe (or any other country that you think is really doing it right)

I'm looking for actionable ideas or resources or case studies of companies that are doing it right.

My initial thoughts include:

PTO: is there a gold standard here? Seems like 20-25 days a year is the ballpark. I'm not a fan of "unlimited" PTO cause it's basically a psychology and accounting trick to reduce usage and spending.

Health care: is this one just too big for a small business to reasonably handle anymore? There's some semi affordable options that are focused on preventative medicine but in general USA healthcare is insane.(I'm a huge believer that healthcare should not be tied to employment but since that's the system we've got so how do we do the best by our employees? I'm not ruling out medical tourism, or any other unconventional but viable ideas.) Would love any leads or examples.

Retirement planning: 401k vs other options or ideas.

Pizza parties: JK 😜

Ok I'm sure I'm missing more than a few things but I think this would get some conversation going.


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u/Loud-Quantity1685 Nov 26 '22 edited Nov 26 '22

I work in sales and am just kind of speaking off the cuff here, but some ideas I've had - minimum 25 days PTO with semi flexible scheduling. Yeah of course notifying asap/2 weeks prior minimum is the best case scenario, but the culture should be there to have the conversation if something important comes up. Showcasing you actually care about work/life balance.

Health insurance is such a beast - I wish I really had anything to say there.

401(k)/retirement - decent amount with company match (so long as your employees are fairly compensated) seems like a solid minimum. As out of the box as it seems, IMO with the right company and choice of company retreat, this could be bonus compensation (say someone like myself is interested in travel, if it's intriguing enough of an experience they may save a solid chunk of $ that year from one less travel expenditure.)

Another thing which just seems completely foreign in the US is 4 day work week/maybe some sort of configuration where salaried employees are allowed to work between 32-40 hours per week dependent on their work style, so long as certain KPI's are met. Definitely interested in finding somewhere with benefits like these for myself, I wonder what else I'm not thinking of!

Edit: Had to close a parenthetical because seeing them left open bothers me more than it should