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Can’t Increase Pay Rates? Get Creative With Your Benefits!

Today’s job market focuses on candidates who focus on choosing top-paying jobs. With many companies struggling to regain their footing and momentum post-pandemic, increasing pay rates to stay competitive may not be possible.

If your company cannot offer employees salary increases, or your ability to increase is limited, you can still compete effectively with other businesses on the job market. When budgets are limited, it’s time to get creative with your benefits and perks.

Ideas for Improving Your Employee Benefits and Perks

For some employees, the size of the paycheck is the key. For others, the entire package of salary, benefits, and extras make a job worth getting and worth keeping. As an employee, it pays to explore these other avenues of compensation and incentive to attract and motivate top talent for your business.

It’s Bonus Time!

If increasing the base rate of pay for your employees isn’t in your limited budget, consider offering bonuses. Bonuses may be based on employee experience or longevity and their performance on a project or in general. Bonuses may also be provided seasonally or to celebrate achievements within the company.

Offering regular bonuses motivates your employees, and new candidates see from the start that your company rewards its employees and takes care of them as a priority.

Promoting Work/ Life Balance

For many current and prospective employees, working from home has put the importance of work/ life balance into a new perspective. The ability to work full time and still care for family and self has become a top concern.

For many job seekers, the ability to work from home, have a flexible schedule, and the opportunity for increased vacation time are all desirable incentives that trump a lower wage. Now that many companies have embraced hybrid work situations (working from home and in the office), other perks that sweeten a lower-salary job may include:

  • Reimbursement for childcare expenses
  • Expanded parental leave
  • Incentives to work from home

When offering incentives that benefit employees with children, it is essential to consider that other nonwage benefits should be available for employees who do not have children. Maintaining a balance in benefits and perks is as necessary as the work/ life balance itself.

Opportunities for Advancement and Education

Salary increases are correlated with achievement. Whether an employee has been a good employee for the long term or has over-achieved in the short term, a raise demonstrates appreciation for a good job done. Achievement may also mean advancement, and offering your employees the opportunity to improve their skills or advance their education on the company’s dime is a generous incentive.

Free continuing education courses, tuition reimbursement programs, and scholarship awards are all ways to reward your employees by increasing their value as an investment for your company and the future.

An Investment for the Future

Your business may not have the money to raise wages or even provide generous bonuses, but if you still want to show your employees you value them, you can invest in their futures. Retirement incentives and profit-sharing plans offer ways to show appreciation for your valuable employees and demonstrate to new job candidates that you take care of your employees today and tomorrow.

Pay Raise Best Practices to Consider

Whether they are a new hire or a veteran on the staff, employees expect to get a pay raise, especially after working for a defined period. Top performers on the job will also expect that recognition.

If you find yourself unable to meet high pay because of budget difficulties, remember to be honest and upfront about the situation. Most employees and job candidates respond positively when you sit down one-to-one and explain the situation. Understanding that you are highly valued even when the financial realities prevent you from being highly paid for them can make all the difference in accepting or leaving a position. Many employees will choose to stay with your company or take a new job because you were positive, honest, and treated them with respect.

Benefits matter a lot, as noted above. Take the time to sit down with your employees and determine what kinds of benefits and perks are on offer from competitors. Find out what they are looking for personally, too. Understanding what would tempt your loyal employees away from your company helps you evaluate your employee financial relationship and may be the key to retaining valuable employees and attracting new talent.

Ready to choose from the best talent around? Contact Vector Talent today!

As the calls for higher wages echo through legislative halls and media outlets, the realities of running a business and handling those increases are pretty different. To some companies struggling in a competitive candidate job market, focusing on benefits, perks, and other incentives may be the key to attracting top talent and keeping them interested in years to come. When you can issue those pay increases, ensure they are based on excellence and loyalty, motivating veteran employees and new hires to strive for top performance in their position.

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