Unsatisfied with your role and need more from your employer? Many professionals assume requesting a pay rise is the only solution to their problems. But this isn’t necessarily true. If your worries are deep-rooted and not easily resolved, asking for more money might only be papering over cracks in the load-bearing wall that is your career.
While all professionals likely expect regular, incremental pay raises throughout their careers, sometimes we need more than basic monetary value to help us feel fulfilled. After all, businesses with a good company culture look to support all your needs with a tailored employment package.
In the United Kingdom, for example, many companies use salary sacrifice — a process where employees trade part of their salary for non-cash benefits — to build a more rounded work experience that suits the individual’s needs, wants, and desires.
Moving back to the United States, however, there is little reason why your company cannot take a similar approach to build out your employment package, taking it far and beyond salary alone.
In this article, we look to explore why salary is certainly important (but not always #1), as well as outline three key employment benefits capable of fulfilling the needs money cannot achieve alone. Read on and discover why asking for a pay rise isn’t always the best way to get more from your employer.
Why pay raises are important (but aren’t always #1)
While the core of this article looks to find alternative ways to find value in your role, let’s get one thing straight: salary is important. It ensures your financial security and helps support those around you.
With this in mind, it makes sense to ask for a pay rise if you believe you deserve one. And in many cases, money might be exactly what you need from your employer; in others, you likely have something a little more specific in mind.
According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs — a widely accepted theory for motivating employees — salary supports your basic needs (physiological and safety). These form the foundation of your motivational hierarchy, covering factors such as food, water, and warmth.
But there are ways to elevate beyond such a point by forming intimate relationships and realizing your potential. To get here, however, your employer should look to fulfill your psychological and self-fulfillment needs — an idea that isn’t quite so easily solved with money alone.
Other ways to get more from your employer (three examples)
So what exactly can your employer offer to help you feel more fulfilled at work? Well, taking a leaf from the UK’s aforementioned salary sacrifice playbook is certainly a great start. After all, company benefits in exchange for pay raises can support key areas of your life that aren’t strictly covered by salary alone.
In this section, we look to find other ways to get more from your employer (and improve your employment package) by exploring these two examples:
- Request travel support to make commuting more convenient
- Ask for flexible working hours to accommodate your schedule
Read on as we explore some ideas that could squeeze more value from your work.
1. Request travel support to make commuting more convenient
With the rise of remote working during the pandemic, people’s daily commute tends to have been from bed to desk. But now the office is back. And whether it be by public transport or your personal vehicle, commuting remains a physical and financial burden that weighs heavy on the minds of many working professionals.
With this in mind, there are a few ways your company can accommodate your preferred mode of travel by making it more convenient. Here are some options (and example schemes):
- Vehicle leasing: requesting the use of a company car covers legal obligations such as tax renewal and insurance. Moreover, you don’t have to worry about running costs, particularly if your business uses fuel cards (examples can be found at iCompario), which bills the business rather than you having to pay out of pocket.
- Reduce payroll taxes: organizing public transport, ride-sharing, and parking can be a stressful process, but with a computer benefits program (like this one by Edenred) you can use tax-free dollars and keep more of what you earn. They work by offering monthly vouchers, passes, and reimbursements up to the $270 IRS tax limit.
You can also ask about cycle-to-work programs, but given these schemes are scarce in the United States, this will likely be dependent on existing structures within your business.
2. Ask for flexible working hours to accommodate your schedule
Despite talking about the daily commute, there is no denying the pandemic has changed the way we work for good. Pre-pandemic, remote working was among the most popular work perks a business could provide; post-pandemic, remote working is an expectation, with 97.6% of professionals wanting the ability to work from home for the rest of their career.
Asking for flexible working hours rather than a pay rise provides a greater sense of control in your role. Plus, you can keep on top of equally important responsibilities such as schooling, maintaining a healthy diet, caring for pets, and generally looking after your mental health.
Flexible working hours have also proven many professionals can be more productive when working from home. Why? Well, you can tailor tricky tasks to more productive parts of your day. Morning or evening everyone has a time where they feel most motivated to get the job done, unlike in the office, however, you’re in control of that schedule.
Summary: why asking for a pay rise isn’t always the answer
Travel support and flexible working hours are just two examples of a variety of ways to get more from your employer (without asking for a pay rise). We chose these because they offer the most immediate benefits here and now. With that being said, there are plenty of other ways to get more from work over the long term:
- Vacation time
- Inclusive social culture
- Education reimbursement
- Conference tickets
- Training opportunities (for upskilling)
- Goal setting (for promotion)
The options are truly endless and, depending on your specific needs, help squeeze much more value out of your role than can be achieved with money alone. Getting a better deal is all about improving work-life balance and being open-minded to new opportunities — so don’t be afraid to ask your employer about a range of benefits, not just a pay rise.
Elliot Mark is an ecommerce writer with several years’ experience working with the biggest online store builders around. Skilled in content and marketing, he loves to share his knowledge with like-minded ecommerce entrepreneurs. Check out his insights on Ecommerce Platforms to learn how to take your online store to the next level: @EcomPlatformsio.