Here’s a problem managers at every level have – one of their employees deserves a raise, and they know it. The problem? You simply can’t afford it.
Maybe you run a small business and funds are simply too tight for a long-term raise. Or it could be you work for a massive international company that requires a certain quota of team performance before any individual employee can get a raise.
Either way, if you’re the manager, you feel like your hands are tied – and you risk losing a good worker because they know someone else might be able to pay them what they’re worth.
This is indeed a tricky topic. But there are always incremental incentives or alternatives to raises that are proven to keep employees on staff. Inc. recently surveyed business leaders on this very scenario, and the examples they gave are a great place to start.
Here are a few examples:
“Think of things you can cover that cost a little bit of money but not as much as raises. We cover the cost of dry cleaning and health club memberships for our team members. We try to create a sense of community around the things we may not love to do but have to.” – Kevin O’Neill Founder and managing partner, Acertitude (human resources)
“For my top-performing team, I’d find a reward that’s applicable to them–I’d ask if they want to go on a ski trip, or to a concert or basketball game, or some other type of outing, and send them to that. With the engineering department, if a product they worked on got patented, I would include their name on the patent.” – Sam Sinai CEO, Deco Lighting(manufacturing)
“You can find some really great professional training opportunities that don’t cost as much as a raise and yet can have a really big impact: in-person classes, online classes, or internal opportunities that we set up. We’d give them the time to do that.” – Mike Belasco CEO, Inflow (advertising and marketing)
Do you think these examples are enough to keep talented workers at any given organization? Check out more examples here, and let me know what you think in the comments.