In Employee Engagement

Looking to boost motivation and support your employees in doing their best work? Paying a good salary is great; creating a rounded package that supports their needs, wants, and desires is better.

In this article, we explore why salary plays an important role in job satisfaction, but isn’t necessarily the most important factor, at least not on its own. Read on and discover alternative ways to support your employees without putting cash on the table.

Salary is important (but not #1)

While looking for alternatives ways to support your team, salary remains an important part of employee job satisfaction. After all, people need to be offered financial stability by their employer, without this individuals struggle to afford daily necessities like food or water, let alone chase aspirations or seek further professional fulfilment.

That said, getting a raise won’t make you hate your job any less — so as an employer it’s important to understand good salaries lay the foundation for further growth, allowing you to build layers of job satisfaction with support from a fair and steady wage.

Ways to support your employees (that aren’t salary-related)

Salary is important, but can you do more to support your employee’s needs, wants, and desires? Well, yes you can, and here’s how…

Convenience: support commuting costs

The average person spends 400 days of their life commuting to work.

Commuting is a necessary evil that, for many people, undermines health and overall job satisfaction. Why? Well, in part because of the time it takes to get to and from work.

In the United States, for instance, workers spend one month commuting every year, which is twice the average annual vacation time — this is something The Washington Post calls an astonishing waste of human potential.

With this in mind, supporting commuting costs is a key way for your business to ease its burden on your team and improve satisfaction in their role. There are many options available to your business in this regard. Here are two key examples:

Firstly, offering company cars is effective when paired with fuel cards.

Company cars not only cover expensive obligations such as tax renewals and insurance but also fuel costs via tools like fuel cards — which is a credit card available to your business that supports your team with typical running costs. The benefits of fuel cards extend to both your business and its employees, allowing drivers to access free fuel, as well as provide the business with interest free credit.

Some popular U.S. fuel card examples include Fuelman and Comdata. But much like the eclectic range of vehicles available nowadays, fuel cards come in many shapes and sizes, each geared to specific tasks and requirements. With this in mind, it’s best to use a comparison site or trusted information hubs like Forbes to get a broader picture of the market and what’s available to support your business and its wider team.

Secondly, reducing payroll taxes offers more value without raising base salaries.

Commuter benefits programs use tax-free dollars to support your team’s commuting needs. How? Well, schemes like this one provide vouchers, passes, and reimbursements so your team can keep more of what they earn.

Note, however, this is only up to the IRS tax limit of $270. These schemes help team members save money on taxes each year, while also benefiting from an easier commute to work with access to transits, rideshares, and qualified paid parking.

Using these options you can provide more value to your employees than raising their salaries a nominal amount, thereby making their lives a little easier while still supporting their financial situation.

Upskilling: give your team room to grow

94% of employees would stay with a company if there was an investment in learning.

Supporting your team is about providing a clear pathway for progression, recognizing talent, and allowing members to grow their professional skill set.

With this firmly in mind, upskilling — the process of learning new skills and relevant competencies — is a great way to help individuals feel more valued at work. Why? Because employees, young and old, are motivated by development opportunities.

There are many ways to approach upskilling your team, some more effective for your business than others. Here are a few examples:

  • Mentoring: learning from another, often more experienced employee
  • Online courses: enlisting members in relevant online modules
  • Webinars: inspire new ideas with one-off workshops from industry experts

One challenge you might face, however, is measuring success. This can be solved using SMART goals, a method where you set specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound objectives to guide the upskilling process.

A good salary is important but may not improve overall job satisfaction without supporting your employees in other areas. From easing the burden of travel to carving out progression opportunities — this is why supporting your employees isn’t just about increasing their salary.

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