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Can Benefits Help Offset Slow Wage Growth?

Author: Pete Langlois/Tuesday, March 10, 2015/Categories: SNI Companies, SNI Financial, For Job Seekers, For Employers, SNI Certes, For Job Seekers, For Employers, SNI Technology, Accounting Now, Staffing Now

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Even if your company is in the middle of a salary freeze - as many companies are today -there may be a way to increase your “compensation”. For more than a decade, wage growth in the U.S. has been virtually non-existent according to the Economic Policy Institute. The most recent survey by the National Federation of Independent Businesses shows that 2015 may be the year when wage increases could approach three percent. However, even at that level many employees are feeling as though they are running in sand rather than getting ahead.

One way to get around meager salary increases is to look at your benefits package. If approached well, you might be surprised what your employer is willing to do, even when salary hikes are not possible.

Start by looking at what others in your industry have in their benefits package and list all of the benefits you know your employer offers. Ask yourself, what has high value for you?

Paid Vacation Time - It may be easier to negotiate an extra five days of vacation than to bump your salary by two percent. Does the extra time off mean as much, or more, to you than a percent or two increase?

Flexible Hours – Telecommuting one day a week will save commuting costs and give you that commute time as a bonus. Or, you may be able to negotiate a four-day per week, 10 hours per day schedule, to give yourself a three-day weekend. The benefit in your personal life could help offset the lack of a salary increase.

Share Options – Look into stock options and share grants if you work for a publicly traded company. Can you negotiate a bonus each year based on the company’s performance and yours? Over time these benefits can make a big difference in your total compensation.

Professional Development – Asking for professional development reimbursement may help you move up the corporate ladder and qualify for those additional benefits. Negotiate reimbursement for courses that will ultimately benefit both you and the company, such as professional certification courses.

Understand that your employer may be constrained by the corporate budget even if he or she wants to reward you for exceptional performance. Approaching them with some alternatives to keep you committed to the firm may allow your manager to respond with a package that will be mutually appreciated. Go in to the discussion demonstrating your understanding of the company’s economics and in the spirit of offering some alternatives for consideration.

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Pete Langlois
Pete Langlois

Pete Langlois

Pete Langlois is the Chief Sales Officer at GEE Group. His blog leverages his decades of experience in hiring, training and retaining top talent and covers trends and issues of interest to employers and job candidates alike.

Other posts by Pete Langlois
Contact author Full biography

Full biography

Pete Langlois is the Chief Sales Officer at GEE Group. His blog leverages his decades of experience in hiring, training and retaining top talent and covers trends and issues of interest to employers and job candidates alike.

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