I recently published a note about negotiating skills to use if you are the person doing the asking or the one being asked for a salary increase. (link) This article is about things you can negotiate for other than an increase in pay. Keep in mind that employee satisfaction is often, but not ALWAYS about more money. As a business owner you can improve your business by offering your employees some of the following perks. And as an employee you can ask for the following by emphasizing how these things will improve the business.
- Training– courses, retreats, conferences will improve skills and cost a fraction of what a salary increase (with the additional benefits) would cost. A more educated employee is a more productive employee.
- Extra time off– request/offer extra time off to volunteer in the community. As an employee do you have a particular passion? Show how your passion project will make the company look good. You can wear your company logo and/or provide company chotchkies while volunteering.
- A bigger/quieter office– be sure to explain how this will improve work by allowing for better concentration and fewer distractions.
- Short or long term disability insurance as part of your benefits package
- Extra time for client breakfast/lunch/dinner meetings. It is important to stay top of mind with your biggest clients and prospects. Regular face to face meetings go a long way to developing and nurturing relationships. Breaking bread is a really good way to do this.
- Access to a company credit card for client meetings and books/publications
- Publication, book, journal subscription fund. Keeping on top of industry trends is key to successful business development. It is also key to promoting creativity and creative/critical thinking. (Link to the 30 creativity challenge)
From a business owner standpoint, one through seven above will not cost as much as a salary increase and will show good will and all important recognition for outstanding work in a very meaningful way.
From an employee standpoint, one through seven above shows an understanding and appreciation of the fact that business owners are not always able to give salary increases because of the related costs of the increase. It should also be noted that your employer is very likely to see things from your point of view if you remember to be clear and intentional about how these requests will help with business development. Remember that it’s always a good idea to think of how your actions and in this case your requests will positively affect the company.