“Other Than a Raise, What Do You Want?”

We’d all like to be paid more money. Costs are rising, and middle-class incomes aren’t keeping up. But if a raise is out of the question, is there anything else your employer could offer that would make you happier with your job?

That’s exactly the kind of question staffing firm Accountemps asked a bunch chief financial officers (CFOs) in a recent poll.

According to the results, having a better benefit plan, (such as enhanced healthcare plan), was the #1 pick. Forty one percent of the CFOs polled chose this as the thing they would want if a raise was off the table.

The other answers included: more vacation days (19%), more scheduling flexibility, (such as telecommuting or flexible work hours) (15%), more training or professional development opportunities (12%) and other corporate perks, (such as on-site meals and amenities, health and wellness, or subsidized transportation) (11%).

Of course, increasing the value of your benefits package is kind of like giving you a raise, from the boss’s point of view. Both of these options cost real money.

However, offering you more flexibility is an option that often doesn’t cost the company much, but can really help you to manage your life better.

Training and career development cost money, but your employer often gets that investment back by benefitting from your increased capabilities.

Think about the issue from both sides – but don’t be afraid to ask for what you really want. Often times in a negotiation, asking for something the other side can’t give you, (money, for instance), makes them much more agreeable to giving you more of something else, (flexibility, or training).

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