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Boss not giving you a pay rise? Here’s what to ask for instead

More workers are negotiating non-financial perks, including flexible work arrangements and increased annual leave.

Office workers in Australia. Pay rise concept.
Pay rise not on the horizon? Here are some of the non-financial benefits you could ask for instead. (Source: Getty)

You’ve spent weeks preparing your case for a pay rise, only to have your request denied by your boss.

While you may be feeling deflated right now, there could still be other, non-financial ways for you to be rewarded for your hard work.

Non-financial work benefits, including things like flexible work arrangements and increased annual leave, are becoming more popular.

Recent research by Robert Half found more than a fifth of bosses (22 per cent) had reported having more non-monetary compensation talks with workers, while a third (34 per cent) were seeing an increase in negotiations for both monetary and non-monetary perks.


Here’s what they’re asking for.

Flexible work

The most popular non-salary perk was flexible or hybrid work arrangements, Robert Half director Nicole Gorton said.

“A lot of companies have mandated in-office days and, at the moment, the average is three or four days,” Gorton told Yahoo Finance.

“So, what a lot of people are doing is, if they can’t negotiate on in-office versus remote days, they are negotiating on flexible work conditions. It’s having flexibility for school drop-off and pickups, for appointments, for personal health and wellness, for example.”

As travel ramps back up, another option is asking for the ability to work remotely from overseas.

Increased leave

Asking for increased leave is another option, including more annual leave days or increased parental leave.

“The other one that is becoming really popular is charity days or volunteer days. This is where people want to be able to give back to the community in some capacity,” Gorton said.

Professional development

Your boss could also help support your professional development and long-term career growth, including upskilling, coaching and mentorship.

“We are looking at things like training, upskilling. Some of those are more professional formal courses. Some of those are the ability to self-invest through online courses,” Gorton said.

“There’s also international-secondment opportunities to go and bring back your learnings into the workplace.We’re also seeing a lot more cross-pollination of roles and job sharing. So, someone allocates time within their role to go and learn somebody else’s role.”

Other things include health and lifestyle benefits, including gym or health club memberships.

4 tips for negotiating

Here are four tips to remember when negotiating your compensation package:

  1. Do your research. Make sure you are being realistic about the current market value of your skills and experience. You can check salary guides to get an idea of the current landscape.

  2. Build your case. Be prepared to explain why you deserve more, and have concrete examples of your achievements and how this has benefited the company.

  3. Factor in the perks. Define what is most valuable to you that would make the offer more attractive, financially and non-financially.

  4. Know when to quit. If your employer can’t give you a pay rise or offer you other perks, weigh up what else is available on the job market. If you decide to stay, set up a clear roadmap to discuss your compensation package in the next six months.

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