Offering Time and Flexibility Instead of More Money

by Joe Lavelle on October 9, 2011

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If employees are asked by their bosses, “What’s the best way for me to show you how much I appreciate the great work you’ve been doing around here?” the most popular response is likely going to be, “Pay me more money!”  We all understand the straightforward connection between doing well at your job and being financially compensated for it.  And, who doesn’t want a little more in their paycheck?  There are instances, though, in which businesses cannot afford to give their best employees what they are worth.  When a raise is not an option, what are some other ways to keep your top workers from looking for a new boss?

An article posted recently on CNN’s website points to the desire that professionals have to be given freedom and autonomy is their work production.  If you trust a great employee to make decisions that will benefit your company, why not reward him with more time in the work week to pursue a particular idea or project?  Give these workers flexibility in their schedules to be even more productive for you.  The article states that time is considered a precious resource for a professional, especially one who is passionate about her work and ready to experiment with new approaches.  If you are dictating every minute of a rigid work day for your employees, those are who are eager to make amazing contributions will find another work environment in which they are given the room to do just that.

So, if the money isn’t there for higher salaries, have you considered time as a way to compensate your high-performing employees?  Is the freedom to explore your passions and try new things within the context of your job description an incentive that would appeal to you in lieu of a pay raise?

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Todd SchnickNo Gravatar October 10, 2011 at 7:50 am

love the concept behind this post. how do you reward people when you cannot give financial compensation? great questions. if it was me, i would want the following: if you trust me to get the work done, let me work from home…let me come in later in the day and avoid rush hours…to name two.

but, i suspect the problem is, the people who are thriving already work well in the system. the bigger question…how to incent those not performing well???


Joe LavelleNo Gravatar October 25, 2011 at 12:16 pm

Great question Todd! I have had great success with “just creating an ongoing performance conversation and really caring about their improvement” with those that are not performing well.


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