It can be very difficult as a business when an employee comes to you and asks for a pay rise, and you know that there is no money in the budget. So, what can you go back and offer?

In a labour short market, you want to ensure that you are doing everything possible to retain your top talent. With a difficult economic climate, it can be difficult finding extra cash to give employees. This calls upon employers to get creative and to think a step ahead of their competitors. Employees want more than just a pay check and job security from their employer.


Extra Leave

Outside of the leave requirements stated in the National Employment Standards and Award/EBA is there an opportunity to provide your employees with extra leave. Extra leave may include leave for grandparents’ day, leave for fertility treatments, or leave for first day of school to name a few. Providing employees with the opportunity to improve their work-life balance helps retain your top talent and prevent burnout.


Special Projects

Is there an opportunity to give your employees an opportunity to participate in special projects throughout the year? Most employees love a challenge and love the opportunity to try something new. Instead of having to outsource or hire a specialist, upskill your current employees to take on the challenge.


Flexible working arrangements

Can you provide your employees with a longer lunch break or let them leave work early on an ad hoc basis? Giving employees the opportunity to run errands on their lunch break such as going to the dentist, seeing their accountant or parent teacher interviews boosts employee productivity and employee wellbeing.


Offer tangible recognition to celebrate success

When an employee or team does a great job at something, celebrate it. You can easily celebrate success by sending a company wide email, giving the team a handwritten card, or having a celebration in the weekly/monthly team meeting.


Monthly theme day

Give employees something to look forward to and create a monthly theme day that celebrates their interests and passions.  If you have employees that love food, have a cooking day with food from different cultures or if you have sporty employees have a wear your teams scarf day.  Make sure you mix the days up to cater for all of your employees’ different interests.


Volunteer Leave

Volunteer leave provides employees paid time off to go and volunteer for a cause that they are passionate about whilst the employer pays the employee their normal wage. Examples of how employees can spend their volunteer leave include picking rubbish up from the streets, helping make food for the homeless or working at a local animal shelter.  Majority of employees want to work for a company that values social responsibility and providing employees the opportunity to give their time to local charities supports corporate social responsibility.

Whatever benefits you do or don’t offer your employees, you want to make sure that you are making your employees want to come to work and that they feel recognised and supported.  The next time you have an employee coming to you asking for a pay rise and you know that you can’t offer one at this point in time, make sure you have some non-financial benefits that you can offer to your employees.


About Employment Innovations

Employment Innovations is one of Australia’s leading providers of employment services designed to increase productivity and ensure compliance. Its services and solutions include all the tools that every Australian small to medium sized employer needs – including workplace advice, legal services, payroll solutions, migration, human resource management and HR software.



The information provided in these blog articles is general in nature and is not intended to substitute for professional advice. If you are unsure about how this information applies to your specific situation we recommend you contact Employment Innovations for advice.