What Employees Want (Other Than a Raise)

A common reason that employees seek other opportunities is they want more money. As an employer, when one of your employees come to you asking for a raise or promotion, it can be an awkward conversation. If you say yes, chances are more employees will come with the same request. If you deny, you risk losing that employee. When he or she decides to leave the company for an opportunity that provides more money, you may be tempted to extend a counteroffer. Luckily, there are other benefits that employers can offer their employees to retain them.

For small business owners, the request for a raise or promotion is one that might keep you up at night. It may not be possible to give your employees a raise when they request it, even though they may be more than deserving, due to the costs of keeping the business afloat. If you are an employer and have found yourself in this position, there are other things that you can offer instead of a bump in salary.


If you can’t offer a raise in salary at the moment, it is important to be honest with them and maintain open lines of communication. Is there a timeline of when he or she can expect the raise? Share that with them; your employee will appreciate the honesty and transparency surrounding the situation.

An alternate route is offering a one-time bonus. Not only will this show the employee that he or she is valued, but it also can improve his or her morale (and bank account).

Flex Hours

A popular workplace perk or benefit is offering flex hours. Popular use of this perk is coming in early to leave early, or starting later and leaving later. This provides opportunities to incorporate a healthy work-life balance which can, in turn, improve productivity in the office. Another option, according to Career Builder, is to offer four 10-hour work days instead of five 8-hour work days.

Work from Home Days

Remote working options have become increasingly popular these days. This benefit can lead to increased productivity and employee happiness. Still not convinced? Data from an OwlLabs survey revealed that employees who work from home at least once a month are 24 percent happier and more productive than those who don’t.

While remote working can benefit those who take advantage of it, not everyone can maintain productivity outside the office. Figuring out what works for you is key.

Wrap Up

It is no secret that today’s job market favors the job seeker. Candidates can search for and choose which jobs to apply for and, if offered, which one to accept. Retaining employees can be fairly competitive as career professionals are looking for the best opportunity to advance his or her career. Employees will always want more money and often times will seek opportunities that provide it. If you cannot offer a raise, there are other benefits you can offer your employees to keep them engaged and productive. For more, check out this article from our friends at Career Builder.

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