Time and time again we focus on our salaries when thinking of how much we are valued by our employers, but the thought that money alone is the only incentive companies can use to keep employees is ridiculous. While everyone enjoys a good old-fashioned raise, many times employers can use other means to reward employees and improve job satisfaction. In tight times when even Uncle Sam is counting on an absence of raises, these methods are especially prudent. My Two Dollars provides employees and employers with some excellent ways to compensate employees without opening the checkbook too wide.
If there is anything I have learned in my 25 years on this planet, it is that everyone has different motivators, and the quicker you figure out what the appropriate carrot at the end of the stick is, the better your business or your career will go!
Providing employees with the opportunity to use flextime to better mesh their personal life with work is a great way to increase overall employee job satisfaction.
Other suggestions, such as sincerely thanking employees and paying for health insurance for the entire family, can be excellent ways of compensating good employees. Working in a non profit has made me well aware of how these non-dollar-focused benefits can make a difference in job satisfaction. I thoroughly enjoy the good amount of vacation and the tuition reimbursement that I have received over the past few years.
Even as I sing the praises of using these ways of providing benefits to employees in lieu of a raise, employers should look at these as supplementary items to reward employees who perform well and help the company. Providing means for monetary compensation, either through bonuses or raises, is still important; even if you provide all the free coffee and bus fares in the world, housing and food prices are on the rise. I already get a fair deal of these benefits at work, but that doesn't leave me wanting more, I often wish I could roll in to work some days at 10, grab a free coffee and get to work while sitting comfortably in my jeans and a t-shirt.
If you run a business do you use these kinds of programs to reward your employees? If you work for a company do you get just a paycheck or are you compensated through some of these other methods as well? Which would you rather have: cash or alternative benefits?