Author: Sharon Brotherton

The 11 Types of Benefits You Should Offer as an Employer

11 types of benefits you should offer as an employer

Competitive markets demand more from companies

The job market is such that offering a competitive salary to employees is not enough. Employers seeking the best talent from a workforce demanding more are offering multiple types of benefits, including not only paid vacation time and health insurance but also other enticements like long-term disability coverage, tuition reimbursement, pension and investment plans and even gym memberships. To attract top employees, companies are also offering other types of benefits, such as education assistance, wellness programs and child care assistance.

How a business can get out front

Health insurance:

About 49 percent of the U.S. population receive employer-sponsored health insurance, according to a study by the Kaiser Family Foundation. Florida ranks fourth with about 40 percent of the population receiving employer-sponsored health insurance. Companies with 50 or more employees risk paying an assessment if they do not offer affordable health insurance as mandated by the  Affordable Care Act. “Affordable” coverage is adjusted annually for inflation and should not exceed 9.83 percent of an individual’s income.

Flexible hours:

Offering work schedules that allow employees to work non-traditional schedules is becoming more common. For employees who care for children or other family members appreciate the flexibility.

Shorter days ahead of holidays:

Consider offering employees the option to leave work early immediately ahead of a holiday. This can allow for less paid time off and allow a longer holiday break.

Remote work options:

These types of benefits can result in significant cost savings for workers, allow for more freedom and flexibility and improved job satisfaction.

Commuter benefits:

These allow companies to cover employee commuter costs up to the IRS maximum of $270 a month. These costs include reimbursements for highway commutes to the workplace as well as public transportation.

Fridge, pantry filled with food:

Providing healthy food options in the workplace is another attractive perk for employees and helps keep them energized for the day.

Company-sponsored events:

A day out of the office for a little fun in the sun can also build morale, allowing employees to get to know each other a little better. Office parties, happy hours and virtual get-togethers also enhance a positive work culture.

Benefits employers must offer

Federal mandatory types of benefits include:

Social Security and Medicare:

These are statutory benefits. Funding for Social Security and Medicare is provided through the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA). It provides benefits for retirees, disabled individuals, and children. Employers are required to withhold Social Security tax at 6.2 percent of gross compensation up to the Social Security wage. Employers must withhold Medicare tax at 1.45 percent of gross compensation.

Unemployment insurance:

This is a requirement for employers through payroll taxes at both the state and federal level.

Workers’ compensation insurance:

This provides financial support to people who can’t work because of an illness or workplace injury. If an employee is injured or becomes ill while on the job, employers are required to cover medical bills and a limited amount of income while the employee recovers.

Family and Medical Leave Act:

Entitles eligible employees of covered employers to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons. It allows for up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave during a 12-month period.

How ShaBro can help

ShaBro can assist businesses in ensuring they are meeting its obligations to provide assistance and compensation required by Social Security, Medicare, unemployment and workers’ compensation insurance. ShaBro is also your resource to develop a total compensation package that will attract prospective employees and retain the ones you have.

For more insight on benefits employees are looking for, go to:

Florida’s Minimum Wage: Maximizing Your Opportunities with these 6 Strategies

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Florida’s minimum wage will increase to $11 an hour on September 30, 2022. This is part of a phased approach to get the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2026. Your business needs to be prepared for the impact of the adjustment. ShaBro Alternative Office Solutions offers suggestions on how your business can stay competitive without undercutting profits.

Understand what an increase in Florida’s Minimum Wage means

  • Industry reports suggest increasing the minimum wage stimulates consumer spending, helps businesses’ bottom line, raises the family income of many low wage workers, and inspires higher employee retention.
  • Report after report indicates that increased wages, including fall in line with positive economic impacts. Workers will tell you they are not interested in jobs that do not pay them fairly. They are attracted to businesses proactive at increasing wages. 
  • When employees make more, they spend more, creating an economic boost for communities, as small businesses realize the benefits of improved profit margins. Increased wages, including Florida’s minimum wage, also help lower poverty rates and release reliance on government projects (which can lower taxes). The benefits also can accelerate the opportunity for a more diverse workforce. The median income of many marginalized groups is often dramatically less than the national median income. Higher wages help close those gaps.
  • According to the Congressional Budget Office, the minimum wage increase boosts wages for 27 million Americans, lifts about a million people out of poverty and increases aggregate wages for low-income workers by over $300 billion over the next decade. Those factors result in lower government spending for safety-net programs like food stamps and Medicaid.


Go line by line on your expenses

Doing a complete audit of your expenses may uncover wasteful spending and ways where you can cut a few corners. There could be enough possible savings to help offset the payroll increase.

Build a budget

A key for any business is determining profit margin based on the new wage figures. Forecast your operating expenses and calculate a new budget with the information. This will help you maintain the profit margin.

Use your digital tools

Let technology work for you by automating your social media presence, streamlining scheduling using other automated forms on your company’s website. This process can help you optimize your business without the need for additional employees or work hours.

Evaluate your employees

This is a good time to determine the number of full-time employees who are essential in helping you maintain a productive and efficient business. Can some of the work be done on a part-time basis or can other employees pick up certain tasks.

Consider retirement plan options

The SECURE Act – or “Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement” – offers tax incentives for small businesses if they set up enrollment into retirement plans, like a 401(k). The legislation also allows businesses to partner with other companies to collectively offer retirement plans.  Offering annuities as investment options within 401(k) plans also is an option. Offering strong wages with retirement plan options only strengthens an employer’s ability to retain good workers. 

Can prices by increased?

No one wants to price customers out of the market, but a strategic look at gradual price increases may be a possibility. New operating costs may lead to small increases, but rising those prices slowly gives diehard customers an opportunity to adjust while still ensuring revenue.

ShaBro can provide solutions

We can help you better manage Florida’s minimum wage changes. Our expertise in human resources, bookkeeping and accounting can help your business run more efficiently and productively. The expertise we provide could be a difference maker for your business and provide a cost savings in the long run.

For more information on the minimum wage increase, go to:

7 Practical Strategies for Effectively Building Modern Compensation Plans

modern compensation plan

Why such a modern compensation plan should be a priority

An effective and modern compensation plan strategy positively impacts employee retention, engagement connections and should be created to support any growing business. It’s more important than ever to look over your current plans – impacting salaries, hourly wages, commission, bonuses and benefits – and analyze any weak areas that should be improved. These plans also attract qualified candidates to your business and motivate existing employees to perform exemplary work and exceed goals.

Creating the plan

Start with an outline, which sets objectives for your program and certain targeted goals. This process works better if job descriptions for each team member are in place. Appoint a compensation manager – usually filled by someone in human resources – who can determine how direct and indirect compensation can be selected. It is also important to create a compensation philosophy that determines whether your compensation rates will be market leaders or competitive pay with great benefits. Make sure opportunities are created for career advancement at different compensation levels.

Other factors to consider:

Keep up to date on the latest legislation

Reacting to COVID-19, the U.S. government created funded programs to help businesses negatively impacted. Programs like the CARES Act to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act provided funding sources to help businesses struggling with the loss of business and to keep employees working. To find out more go to the U.S. Department of the Treasury website at

Focus on immediate or instant rewards

Consider using an instant rewards model to show employees appreciation for well-done work. Look at indirect compensation like gift cards or extra vacation days. Catered lunches or a coffee cart are also effective immediate and instant rewards.

Pay equity standards

It is critical you look over your direct compensation pay scale to make sure there is equity throughout the
entire workforce. In other words, people doing the same work, regardless of gender or ethnicity,
should be receiving equitable pay.

Important to revisit compensation plans during changing times

The global pandemic, changing workforce demands and interests and the booming world of working remotely should motivate you to review your compensation packages. It truly motivates those looking for an employer that recognizes their needs. Your plans should live up to management expectations and what is happening in the workplace; so modern compensation plans are just that, modern and evolving. With a plan clearly outlined, you provide an enriching and fulfilling experience for your team.

Other key strategies

Consider a total rewards approach which covers all the major ways your workforce is compensated beyond payroll and bonuses, including:

  • Health insurance
  • Life insurance
  • Retirement plans
  • Paid time off
  • Paid medical leave

Other factors that can help develop an effective compensation or total rewards package

These are programs that recognize key improvements to improved workplace diversity and inclusion, company culture events, a focus on work-life balance and management performance strategies. Professional development and personal growth programs should also be considered as part of the overall compensation.

Show employees you care about causes

The pandemic impacted non-profits that struggle to meet the needs of those they help. Showing
employees you support causes they care about can boost morale, engagement and contribute to improved retention.

The advantages of hiring ShaBro Alternative Office Solutions

Having HR and employee benefits professionals who can guide your business through various insurance options, current market trends and creative benefits strategies is a huge advantage. ShaBro provides compensation and benefits support to maximize your financial resources and ensure peer competitiveness. Contact us to devise your most effective and modern compensation packages.

For more helpful tips, go to:

A Complete User’s Guide to Becoming an Employer of Choice: 9 Tactics to better recruitment and retention

employer of choice

Why it’s important to become an employer of choice

Today’s hiring market is volatile. Becoming an employer of choice takes planning and a well thought out strategic approach. Be fair, honest, respectful, trustworthy and fun. Prospective employees want higher wages, better working conditions, the ability to be heard and a culture of transparency. They want flexibility with work schedules and time off. A strong work culture broadens a company’s hiring base and improves retention.

Show me the money.

Pay workers comparable to what others are paid at similar levels in the organization and within the market. Also understand the challenges facing different generations. Boomers focus on base pay and pension plans. Gen Xers embrace stability and career growth. Millennials tend to lean toward a transparent work environment, want feedback and clarity in expectations.

Provide opportunities for growth.

Driven employees become impatient with stagnation. Firms becoming employers of choice invest in training, industry conferences, create opportunities beyond their normal scope of work, involve them in company focus groups or possibly public speaking opportunities. Opportunities help improve employee retention.

Being leaders, not followers, by:

Establishing transparency.

Employees don’t like to be left in the dark. When employees sense ambiguity – whether it is job security, manager decisions or company direction – they trust less, are less loyal and less motivated.


Hear employees’ ideas, even if they might not work for the company at that moment. Employees want to believe they are being heard and their bosses respect their point of view. Employers of choice encourage 360 degree feedback.

Featuring meaningful work

Promotions and lateral moves are not necessarily the way to go. Stimulating work assignments can mean more to employees. Build a culture where employees believe they are being stretched to their potential without creating a mountain of stress. Routine jobs can create apathetic employees. Think out of the box by:

  • Creating job rotation or job-sharing options.
  • Develop a plan which puts together cross functional teams, meaning creating teams from different departments that can work together.
  • Develop committees for various projects and to solve problems.

Access to information is a must

Keep employees in the loop. Make sure they have access to information they need to know. They want to feel part of something bigger and their contributions matter. This triggers motivation and is a big driver in open communication and transparency.

Offer benefits that matter.

Flexible work schedules and paid family leave are more the norm these days, than the exception. Also, look for “wow” factor perks, like:

  • Friday get togethers – with alcohol, possibly enjoying a food truck or two.
  • Ping Pong or Cornhole tournaments are becoming trendy.
  • Decorate the workspace with fun colors, special touches. Consider humor boards and birthday celebrations.

Give back to your community

Most companies are sought after by employees because of their commitment to involve the workforce in charitable functions. Recent surveys have indicated most employees feel more connected when they can give back at various charitable outings.

How ShaBro Alternative Office Solutions can help

Contact one our resource professionals to help you build a plan with the goal of making you an employer of choice, by offering solutions that help drive strategic initiatives and show you how to optimize the performance of employees.

Want more ideas on how to become an employer of choice? Review Forbes’ selections of the world’s best employers for 2021 and see how they do it:

5 Tested Considerations When Managing Remote Employees

Online business briefing. Male African American employee speak on video call with diverse multiracial colleagues, on laptop screen diverse business people, meeting online, group discussing on how they are managing remote employees

Getting the most out of managing remote employees post COVID-19

Working remotely – and your expectations of managing remote employees – is critical because of the way the pandemic changed how and where we work. Companies who are allowing employees to work away from a live and active office setting are getting results through good communication and listening, providing guidelines and boundaries, short virtual huddles instead of long, lengthy meetings, avoiding the temptation to micro-manage and providing tools that allow for effective feedback.

Communication can make or break a remote relationship

Never has it been more important to establish a communication plan that best fits the employee and company. Good conversation builds on employee confidence by keeping them up to date on deadlines, the managers’ expectations, work-related challenges, and resources available to minimize those challenges. Establish the best ways to communicate whether it is by email, texts, video chats, phone calls or an intranet channel. Supervisors should also focus on being good listeners because it helps build trust and respect within the workplace and creates confidence among employees that they are being heard. 

Creating guidelines and boundaries

Employees should be encouraged to provide work schedules and tasks that are to be completed within a specific time. This helps create structure within the organization and gives the employee ownership into the operations of the business. Guidelines and boundaries also assist in building a structured environment and aids in establishing consistency. Also provide clarity on goals, priorities and milestones. Always outline work expectations and talk with employees about their roles, responsibilities, quality workmanship.

Time is money

The standard 9 to 5 workday is a thing of the past. When managing remote employees, the employees want flexible work hours at a time when life’s challenges can become overwhelming. This also applies to meetings. What once worked in the office may not work in a remote environment. Avoid lengthy meetings and encourage much shorter virtual huddles by sticking to a clear agenda. Schedule non-meeting days for the team so work can get accomplished.

Feedback is crucial

Make sure employees have the opportunity to provide advice or suggestions that could lead to a more interactive culture and improved productivity. Create a tip sheet or even a video with remote employee suggestions. Share positive feedback and consider a fun chat channel. Celebrate successes – even virtually. Employees love to be recognized for good work that elevates a company’s success. Some companies are using videos to celebrate workers’ achievements.

Technology also plays a big role

Remote employees will need the same access to information available in an office setting. Calendars, phone lists, other company resources should be accessible by everyone. Companies should look at investing in file-sharing software, remote access software, video conferencing options and communication apps like Microsoft Teams or Slack. You don’t need to overspend on technology. Simpler options like FaceTime or Skype are easily available for small, informal chats, while Zoom can be used for larger gatherings. ShaBro Alternative Office Solutions offers a valuable tool called Office On The Go, which gives clients true mobility on almost any device anywhere in the world, providing proprietary and commercially available software with full access to programs and data.

Best is yet to come

Because the environment is so new, the book is literally being written each day on how to best manage remote employees, but the three keys to sustained success remain:

  • Communication
  • Managing expectations
  • Employee feedback

For more tips on managing remote employees, go to

Contact ShaBro Alternative Office Solutions to help with building an effective and affordable plan for managing employees remotely.

5 Ways To Develop Powerful Recruitment Strategies

What is a recruitment strategy?

What is a recruitment strategy?

A recruitment strategy is a plan of action to help you successfully identify, attract and hire the best candidates for your open roles. You can implement recruitment strategies at every step in the hiring process. They range from basic methods, like posting on job boards, to more advanced techniques, such as using a traditional recruiting agency or creating an employee referral program.

1. Treat candidates like customers.

Whether it’s a phone screening, video interview, or an in-person interview, a candidate’s first impression of your company is critical. It’s important to make them feel like you’re just as excited about getting to know them as they are about being considered for the role. 

  • Be respectful of their time. 
  • Be hospitable. 
  • Make yourself available. 

2. Leverage social media

Social media is a fantastic recruiting tool. Social recruiting allows you to share job postings with

your entire network and encourages a two-way conversation. Even if the people you reach aren’t interested in the role you’re hiring for, they may likely know someone who is a good fit. Plus, sharing photos and videos from company events and your workplace gives potential applicants a glimpse into your company culture.

3. Implement an employee referral program

Great people usually make a habit of surrounding themselves with other qualified professionals. While many employees may already be sharing open roles with qualified contacts in their networks, a well-developed employee referral program can encourage even more of your employees to refer the best talent they know. Consider providing incentives for referrals with bonuses and contests so you can create excitement around the program.

4. Create compelling job descriptions

Writing an attention-grabbing and thorough job description is one of the most critical parts of the hiring process.

Here are a few tips to consider:

  • Make titles as specific as possible. The more accurate your title, the more effective you will be in grasping the interest of the most qualified and interested job seekers.
  • Open with a captivating summary. Provide an overview that gets job seekers excited about the role and company.
  • Include the essentials. Write out the core responsibilities, hard and soft skills, day-to-day activities, and explain how the position fits into the organization.
  • Highlight your culture. 

5. Make use of recruitment automation

As an effective human capital management strategy, recruitment automation uses technologies to perform recruiting processes that would otherwise be completed manually.  Automation helps your company reduce the cost per hire, shorten the time period to fill the position, boost recruitment productivity, and improve internal effectiveness in your entire workforce.

Contact ShaBro Alternative Office Solutions to design your effective and affordable human resource solution today!

How do you know when you have an AMAZING Bookkeeper?

AMAZING Bookkeeper

Seriously, how do you know? It seems everyone in the service industry screams at you that they are the “experts” or they have “excellent customer service!” Surely you have some preconceived notions of what characteristics or traits a great bookkeeper should have…

So, what are they?

From our perspective here at ShaBro Alternative Office Solutions there are 8 characteristics or traits to look for to help determine if you “got yourself a keeper” or if maybe you should start to consider a change. IF you don’t already have a bookkeeper to help you from the dollars down to the pennies then please consider the following:

8 Characteristics / Traits of an AMAZING Bookkeeper

An amazing bookkeeper must first have the knowledge, skills and abilities to “get the job done” and done efficiently. Sure, you can make their job a little easier or a lot harder depending on how good you are about getting them your materials BUT once your amazing bookkeeper has everything in front of them they should be able to do everything needed to help you prepare for the best scenarios possible regarding taxation AND help you see where every penny is going.

An amazing bookkeeper must be able to listen attentively. They should also be able to craft the follow-up questions for you to help them best understand your business and what makes your business perhaps a little unique from “similar” businesses. From our experience, no two businesses are alike or run the same even if they are in the same service arena.

An amazing bookkeeper must be very detail-oriented. Face it, you may be detail-oriented when it comes to handling your clients but maybe NOT so detail-oriented when it comes to handling your own stuff. But your bookkeeper must be because you are talking about where all of your P&L items are accounted for as well as helping to minimize your exposure to taxation. Yes, “the devil is in the details”. And what about that P&L? Your bookkeeper must have the ability to build a profit and loss statement from your top line sales down to your bottom line profit and everything in between.

An amazing bookkeeper must have communication skills. These skills include “listening” but also go further to include being responsive to your emails, calling you back, etc. They should also be able to give you a list of things as complete as possible up front. CAVEAT: Often, an amazing bookkeeper is made to look LESS amazing because they are amazing BUT cannot get the materials from you, their client, or get responses to their emails or return calls, SO be sure to help your bookkeeper BE amazing by helping in this critical area all you can.

An amazing bookkeeper will meet with you monthly to help keep you on track and review your numbers with you. You’ve heard the saying “death by a thousand cuts”, well, if you have a ton of loose change slipping through the cracks and your amazing bookkeeper FINDS these cracks then at least with your monthly meetings you can know about them and take corrective action accordingly. Conversely, you may find opportunities to fine tune certain things and help bring in more dollars while also keeping the loose change from slipping through the cracks.

An amazing bookkeeper will also be able to help you set goals. Yes, “S.M.A.R.T.” goals. These should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timed. These goals should ultimately align with your current financial position and facilitate growth. Again, there is some work incumbent upon you to be sure you have allowed your trusted partner to learn your business and identify what opportunities there are for improvements. With well-established benchmarks or industry norms combined with unique characteristics within your business; you and your amazing bookkeeper should be able to set goals.

An amazing bookkeeper should be able to set actionable steps to progress toward your goals as discussed above. During your monthly meetings you will review your numbers, progress toward goals and make any course adjustments needed. They should also be your “accountability partner” along the way.

An amazing bookkeeper will have the ability to tell you “No”.  Finding a service professional who will look at a client and say “No” when they see something that may cause things to go off the cliff or cost their client expended time, emotions or money.  Hearing “No” may just help save you some business “pain” and your amazing bookkeeper will know when to alert you to certain pitfalls along the way.

There are probably more things, but you get the point. Please understand these amazing bookkeepers are rare. Also, be aware you get what you pay for with service providers and amazing bookkeepers are worth every penny you pay them. As a matter of fact, an amazing bookkeeper could actually pay for themselves.

Call ShaBro today and learn what an amazing bookkeeper can do for you and your business.