You own a business, and you have employees. So you are aware that, eventually, some of them will come to you and ask you for a raise. Or that you will need to be the one offering it to them.
Unfortunately, it is not all the time that you can provide financial compensation to them. Sometimes, the company hasn’t grown enough, or it is going through a phase in which you need to be cautious.
So how to deal with this situation without losing the valuable talents and contributions you receive from your staff?
By offering them alternatives to financial compensations – material or immaterial things that they can perceive as a form of appreciation and compensation for not giving them a raise.
And here are some of the options that you can try.
1. Training Courses
Any training courses that you can offer to your employees will be seen as a benefit to them, as they can take it with them wherever they go.
You can provide them with short or long-term classes, pay for participation in workshops and seminars, or for support to improve their writing skills, as long they are aligned to their current duties or tasks. And you will also benefit from it, as you will have a better-qualified staff in your team after it.
2. Days off
As you know, most people are feeling overwhelmed by the many daily tasks they have to accomplish in both their personal and professional lives.
So providing them with extra days off will be very welcomed. You can negotiate with them to ensure that they won’t all be away at the same time, of course, but let them as free as possible to decide when to take them – or it will end up been seeing as an imposition.
3. Longer Holidays
Same as with the holidays, you can offer a few more paid holidays to your staff as compensation for not giving them a raise. And if your company is going through some kind of trouble, it might end up being good for you as well, as you can close the doors for a couple of days and save in maintenance – considering if you can arrange collective holidays, of course.
4. Flexible Hours
Traffic is bad, and people also have different biological clocks. So if you can offer them the possibility to show up in the office in flexible hours, you will be seeing as a best friend. It is understandable that many businesses can’t offer it, and maybe not to every position in the company.
Those who work in Customer Service might find it a bit difficult, for instance, as they have a tight schedule to obey. But many other can do it without any problem, so have a look if you are one of them.
5. Working from Home
Many employees would never consider leaving your company if they were allowed to work from home. Yes, such as it was mentioned regarding flexible hours, not all companies can do it, but others can. And you should consider that you will be saving money on operational costs and having a much happier and committed staff around you.
6. Freebies from Partnerships
Depending on your industry, you might have partners or clients that offer products or services that your employees would love to get for free. So what about giving them a discount or something else in exchange for it?
It can be from a beauty salon, gym, clothing shops, schools, bookstores, etc. Just think about what your staff would like and what your partners can provide for them.
Many employees would be happy to delay a raise for a while, in exchange for ergonomic conditions. Let’s say that one of the members of your team needs a particular type of chair, or requires special equipment to make their life easy. So go ahead and buy it for them.
Just remember that it has to be something that they need as an extra, not something to satisfy a medical condition or to increase your own revenue.
8. Extra Benefits
Have a look at which benefits you are offering to your staff and see if you can improve it. Health insurance, transportation reimbursement, childcare or eldercare, retirement plan, and sick, personal or parental leave, are some of the most common benefits, so you should consider to provide them if you aren’t yet.
Just remember that they will only be perceived as compensation for not getting a raise when they go beyond from what is mandatory by employment law.
9. Profit Sharing
Another way to get your staff engaged during hard times is by promising a share of any increase in the company’s profit achieved in that given year. This way, they will feel more interested in going that extra mile to help you to overcome the delicate situation you are going through at the moment.
Final Thoughts: Be Honest
There are many ways to compensate an employee for not giving them a raise as you can see from the above examples. But, above all, it is important that you understand one thing: you need to make it clear why you are denying a raise.
No matter how hard it can be for you, you need to be transparent about the company’s finances and the challenges; so they can understand that you are not avoiding a raise just to save more money for yourself.
Of course, you don’t need to disclose every single detail. And you will also want to be extra careful with your words, as you don’t want to them to be in a panic, concerned that the company will go bankrupt anytime, and they should start looking for a new job.
Having said that, let them participate in the recovery process, explaining how you plan to get the company back on the rails, and how they can help you on it. And how you are willing to compensate them while you can’t give them a proper raise.
This way, they will be happy and confident about their future in your company.