There are many things that I miss about being self-employed. Being the owner of a small business has both its perks and major difficulties. I really miss having the government subsidizing my travel. However, I don’t miss the employee headaches! Trying to keep key employees happy without breaking the bank was very challenging. Payroll taxes in Canada are ridiculous high, as much as an extra 10% on every dollar of wages.
I found giving an employee a monetary bonus was sometimes less effective as an incentive than giving them a memorable experience. Giving an employee some tickets to a sporting event like hockey, football or baseball was really appreciated. Theatre tickets and taking the spouse out for dinner worked wonders for employee morale. Conducting a business meeting inside the clubhouse lounge, after playing 18 holes of golf, was ten times better than a stuffy conference room.
Small companies are more apt to be creative in job perks. You may have to be bold and ask or even make suggestions to your boss. Bigger companies tend to offer a wider variety of deals.
Here are just a few possible job perks:
- Discounts on purchasing company’s stock
- Child daycare services
- Gym memberships
- Educational reimbursements
- Discounts on cell services & data plans
- Preferred pricing on computers & mobile devices
- Group rates on car insurance
- Preferred pricing on car leasing or purchases
- Adding vacation days to a business trip to do some sight-seeing
- Ask to take your spouse on a business trip with you
I learned the hard way that job perks sometimes are more effective than offering more money. I used to offer my plant workers who were on piece work extra money for increasing production. I came to realized that some of them preferred a shorter work day over money. I put in a quota system in giving them the option to get paid extra for every piece over quota or go home early.
The results were so amazing that I added a weekly production quota for the whole crew. Beat the quota and the company paid for lunch on Friday. Pizza or chicken for lunch, along with some soft drinks was a small price to pay for the increasing production.
It only took me 10 years to get to here and I was a lot happier!
This is where I now work five months of the year. I am really happy if I can par this hole! You will have to guess how long it took me to get to this point in my life.
Remember that even a taxable job perk is cheaper than having to pay for it yourself. Hopefully, your boss values your work efforts and is open to creative job perks. You will never know if you don’t ask!
If happen to be a boss reading this post, remember to reward the people who work for you!
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