Anyone who has won a job offer or a fresh promotion has likely experienced the excitement of the new opportunity mingled with the nervousness of negotiating the contract’s terms. These jobseekers are often so focused on negotiating salary that they forget to analyze the rest of their benefits package. From paid time off (PTO) to health club stipends, the benefits package of your new job should be an important consideration.
With advice from the best negotiation courses in their back pocket, employees can leverage their talents to receive benefits that extend beyond just a great salary figure. Use the following benefits as inspiration for your ideal compensation package.
Asking to work a schedule that differs from your 9-5 colleagues isn’t unheard of. Flex time isn’t about working fewer hours than your colleagues. Instead, flex time is about developing a schedule that’s optimal for both your work and your life.
You know yourself and your work habits better than anyone. If you know you work better at 7 a.m. before your colleagues get in, there’s likely no rational reason why you shouldn’t be allowed to get out the door by 3 p.m. In this case, the negotiation tactic is to prove to your employer why flex time would make you a better, more productive employee for the company.
Many occupations require employees to work busy seasons. This means that work slows down during other times of the year. If you anticipate that for weeks or months of the year, your job or contract will demand working heavy overtime hours, negotiate compensated time – or “comp time.”
This is time you get back in the form of PTO (paid time off) in exchange for extra hours worked. With the hours you accrue, you can cash in your overtime as a much-needed vacation to recharge once the heavy workload has slowed down.
One negotiation strategy for getting more out of your contract’s benefits is to establish early on how much you value your personal time. State your need for a robust PTO package in order to achieve your desired work-life balance.
While finance departments can hamstring hiring teams with tight, inflexible salary bands, there are often fewer restrictions on vacation or PTO policies. If you don’t feel the salary number offered suitably compensates you for your time, ask for time back instead. It’s hard for an employer to argue that an extra few days of holiday time would hurt their business more than it would help to have a happy employee.
Courses and Professional Development
If you are scoring promotions and job offers, you’re already finding success in your job. However, it is important to look at your own long-term career development and the professional skills you want to learn.
If you can make the argument that learning a skill, taking a course, or getting a degree will benefit your employer, you can often ask for sponsorship from your company. Maybe your employer will even sign you up for a sales or contract negotiation course that you can put to use when looking for your next promotion!
The U.S. continues to be one of the few countries that does not federally mandate paid maternity leave. However, that doesn’t mean your employer won’t take your family’s needs into consideration. If you plan on starting or growing your family, make sure you are clear about your expectations for maternity or paternity leave.
Family leave can even extend to caring for relatives during a period of transition. Like vacation and flex time, negotiating these leave privileges involves establishing how security in these areas of your life will render you a better employee.
Commuting and Travel Compensation
Traveling to and from work can significantly eat into your wages, especially if you live outside the city where your office is located. If you don’t have an option to work remotely for some or part of the work week, try to negotiate compensation for commuting expenses. Successful negotiations have even resulted in employees being compensated for the purchase of a bike in lieu of commuting compensation.
Employers sometimes can’t compensate you directly. However, corporations can be permitted to work out special rates with municipal commuting authorities. These rates can then be extended to employees.
In addition to daily commutes, if your job requires a lot of travel as part of your work, ensure that your negotiated contract outlines how you will be compensated. Compensation should consider not only plane tickets and hotels, but also gas usage and mileage put on any personal vehicles. Remember to make travel compensation requests for any offsite work-based training courses you attend.
Health Club Benefits
Numerous studies are now linking employee health with productivity and job satisfaction. Healthier employees require less sick time off and also feel more energetic and content. In turn, healthy employees can then produce their best work.
Ask your employer for reimbursement or stipends for joining a gym or participating in wellness events. Additionally, suggest to your employer that they sponsor health and wellness team events, like a team yoga retreat.
Negotiate the Best Benefits
There are infinite details you can negotiate in your contract beyond the typical salary package. No matter where you are in your career, you can benefit from applying keen tactics to your contract negotiation.
Not only can a successful contract negotiation result in more benefits for you as an employee, it can also earn you respect and prestige from your employer. After all, if an employer has already extended you an offer or promotion, it means they value your talent and experience.
Specialists in the corporate business negotiation market, the Negotiation Experts offer instructive advice on their site via articles, Q&As, book reviews, case studies, and negotiating definitions.