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Raise not in the cards? What to ask for

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in Employee Benefits Program,HR Management,Human Resources

Compensation trend alert! Small companies may look for ways other than salary increases to motivate and keep employees. What does that mean for you? If you suspect your company won’t be handing out annual raises, think creatively about compensation.

Consider one of these on-the-rise ideas:

1. Ask your boss about issuing “phantom stock” or a bonus plan that doles out a percentage of the company’s stock value, without offering any actual legal ownership. The phantom stock value is fed into a long-term bonus plan for employees who stay for a certain time frame.

CIK Enterprises, an Indianapolis-based print marketing firm, has such a plan. It offers an incentive for employees to grow within the company.

“It builds momentum, excitement and a sense of teamwork,” says chief operating officer Andy Medley, who gets the same bonus as everyone else in the company, from the receptionist to the Chief Executive Officer.

The result? Medley says employee retention is among the least of his concerns.

2. Shift your focus to one of three nonmonetary benefits: recognition, professional development and work/life programs.

“Recognition continues to be a big part of compensation from promotions to spot bonuses, and even in smaller ways such as informal recognition for a job well done,” says Ken Pinnock, director of HR services for the Denver-based Mountain States Employers Council.

Work/life programs become a significant form of alternative compensation as employees at smaller firms expect the company to take their lifestyles into consideration. Gym memberships, other health-and-wellness programs, company retreats, team-building events and even days off for volunteer work come across as major incentives.

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