Getting a job with a high salary is a dream of many. However, there are numerous non-monetary benefits that can influence your satisfaction levels while working with a company. Welfare benefits such as insurance and wellness programmes, as well as career-related benefits such as career progression, title advances, CSR commitments and other perks are just some of the benefits that you need to look at.
First and foremost, insurance is often an overlooked factor. This is an important point of consideration especially if you are more senior. As you age, insurance premiums will undoubtedly increase as you are at risk of more diseases and illnesses. In fact, there are different types of medical premiums that the company can offer. Subsidising an insurance, or providing an insurance plan for free is one option. Your employer can also provide subsidised health screenings, or have an annual health reimbursement amount to offset your medical bills.
Corporate wellness programmes
In line with health-related benefits, some employees also value corporate wellness programmes. Some companies even go a step further to give employees rewards, ranging from vouchers to cash, for participating in healthy activities. Some examples include doing health check ups, attending nutrition talks, attending corporate yoga sessions, signing up for a fitness package, or even purchasing a gym pass. Companies may even have corporate rates for certain healthcare partners which can help reduce your bills. For the company, a healthy employee makes sense as it reduces absenteeism and promotes productivity. As such, these are great non-salary benefits to negotiate for.
Besides that, having the option to relax at the company clubhouse, get free gym membership at a gym located within the building, are all wellness programmes that will benefit you.
Career-wise, professional development should not be forgotten as this will determine your current job prospects as well as future job prospects. On top of getting a rough gauge of the budget allocated for your personal development, you should also find out the flexibility of development types. Are you only allowed to take certain directly relevant courses, or can you also explore upgrades to your communication and leadership skills? Try to take classes to get a professional certificate, or network during industry conferences. If you are taking on a regional role, you may want to learn a new language to help you connect with your clients and fellow colleagues. In line with that, make sure that the reimbursements are bond-free as employees sometimes attach a contract value to it to retain the employee. If there is a bond, check the type of interest rates used so that you are more aware of the consequences should you decide to quit.
Besides professional development, career progression is another point of to take note. Progression opportunities allow you to move forward within the organization. Instead of arguing for a time-based promotion, try to find out the results-driven progression structure. An overall career path, a structured training programme, and mentoring systems are other ways for you to advance your career. Ask how other people who are on similar levels and job junctions as yourself have progresses to get concrete examples. With the right approach, this also shows your commitment to the company and that you are not there for the short-term compensation increment. You can also ask the flexibility of moving across divisions.
Some companies allow you to take the taxi home for free after certain hours. For those who drive, you may also be able to claim petrol, or have a subsidised seasonal parking. For positions that involve a lot of traveling locally, you may even request for a company car.
Just as how employees serving the sales function often have better sounding client-facing titles, negotiating for a better title for your job also helps. The caveat is that the title should still accurately reflect your workload. This will help you secure a better job in future.
Does the company provide Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) benefits that align with your own values? Company-wide charitable programmes, or even special annual leave to do volunteer work are just some ways that a company can incorporate CSR into their compensation package. They may even have a partnership with organizations that are targeting animals, elderly, youth at risk, single mothers and more for you to decide on your area of passion.
Different industry and job functions have a different set of perks. If you are a salesperson for a particular clothing brand, you can get staff discounts. If your work requires a lot of travelling across borders, you can accumulate miles in your membership card. If your job requires constant self-upgrade to understand various software and operations, you can try asking for more training budget to stay relevant. If you need to negotiate quotations with various suppliers on a day to day basis, perhaps getting a good negotiation training, which can be extremely pricy, will be helpful. If you look at contracts for vendors, it will benefit the company if they send you to be legally trained as well. Find out what perks are available and acceptable in different sectors before asking for them. Not only do you look more knowledgeable about your field, you also seem more motivated and passionate.
Do not be blinded by your base pay and commission as you can potentially be forgoing a lot more benefits. For instance, you may be giving up valuable vacation time, or doing unpaid overtime, and even lose out on self-enrichment reimbursements. These seemingly innocuous losses actually add up. Do up an excel sheet detailing all the costs, and you may be in for a surprise. There is also always a chance that you may be less prepared to lose your previous benefits then you think. The list of non-salary benefits above is by no means exhaustive. Just remember that when salary can no longer be negotiated, try getting non-monetary rewards instead. Good luck!
(By Vanessa Ng)