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Most companies devote copious amounts of time to strategizing monetary compensation. However, as we collectively embrace more human-centric business practices over transactional cultures, it’s time companies have a clear strategy for their non-compensation plan.
While working from home has always been the most common “non-comp” perk, it has become the norm. As we face The Great Resignation, companies need to get specific and strategic about how they are approaching their non-comp offerings.
Your non-comp plan is how you recognize and reward your employees beyond monetary compensation. Employees have been increasingly vocal about the non-monetary factors that keep them from changing companies, and even their willingness to take less pay for roles that offer the non-monetary rewards that they value.
For entrepreneurs, a successful non-monetary compensation strategy considers two camps: Your team’s overall feeling about being a part of your company and the personal way each employee feels about his or her value.
Here are some ways non-comp strategies can come to life in your workplace.
How do you make winning, growth and personal development fun? How do you empower a culture of gratitude? It feels good to work in a place where both big and small efforts are recognized. At our company, we have a #gratitude Slack channel where employees get to publicly praise each other and share gratitude for things in their lives. By doing this, we’ve created an outlet for our team to connect through celebration as a part of our culture.
How do you support causes that are directly related to your employees’ life experiences? Our company Loop & Tie allows gift recipients to select a gift they want to receive or donate, and we choose new groups to donate to monthly. One of our employees is a breast cancer survivor, so for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, she selected charities that helped her in her journey. Being able to support her with this also helps us encourage other employees to think of ways we can support them in causes they care about. This has created a powerful positive snowball effect where other employees can see that the company is there to support them in ways personal to them.
3. Empowerment and influence
I can’t count the number of times I’ve had candidates and employees share with me how they want their ideas to be heard and the opportunity to influence their company’s direction. It’s an incredibly powerful non-comp value to create a space where people feel heard and ideas are received and implemented, regardless of tenure and seniority. This kind of dynamic is mutually beneficial for employees, company innovation and resilience. By creating a space where both junior and senior people share ideas that are equally considered, you spark a sense of personal dedication to the company and mission in each employee because your people truly feel like they’re a part of something.
4. Commitment to career development
In addition to creating space where all ideas are considered, encourage leaders to publicly praise junior members of the team, creating a sense of possibility. Everyone expects leadership to be praised and respected, but they don’t often expect the intern to get credit. By doing this, you create a space where leaders are empowered to share kindness and coach people up while mid-level and junior talent feel valued, keeping them committed to the company and motivated to expand their skill set. At Loop & Tie, we offer everyone access to “executive” coaching. We want people to feel that when they come here, they are in a place that supports continual growth and learning, regardless of title.
5. Build a sense of meaning
How often do you communicate the impact of your business? Employees stay at jobs where they’re not only benefiting personally, but also feel their work is contributing to something bigger than themselves. No matter your industry, every company’s existence has an impact beyond what they’re selling. What’s yours and how do you communicate it? At Loop & Tie, we empower gratitude through gifting. We show employees the absolute impact of people using our product. They get a monthly look at how many people donated gifts to charity and what the charities do with that money. We plant trees with every gift that’s shipped so when we grow, the environment benefits. Employees also get to see feedback from the small-business makers who sell through our platform. We make it a point to show how our product impacts our global community, the kinds of stats we can all share with our families and feel good about.
How does your culture include your employee’s friends and families? Employees are more likely to stay at companies that share their commitment to the people they trust the most in their lives. Making sure your culture serves employees outside of their dedicated job areas makes for a strong bond. At Loop & Tie, we have a dedicated Slack channel for people to share moments about their pets and children and have a silly ritual of creating slackmojis that represent everyone’s kids and pups. It’s fun to see how we can include families in such a playful way. We also send gifts to families to recognize milestones.
How does a sense of playfulness express itself in your culture? A job is easy to leave, but a lifestyle is not. By creating a sense of play in your company, you create a fun life to show up to every day. At Loop & Tie, we have a culture of laughter and learning that extends beyond direct responsibilities. Our team posts silly GIFs on Slack and jokes around in a way that helps new hires feel at home. Team members are also open about sharing their personal-development journeys. We meet every Friday to share both our emotions (the good and the bad) for our jobs and what’s going on at home.
There are many non-comp ways to recognize and reward your team. While there’s no one-size-fits-all approach, every entrepreneur can start by taking a look at the culture he or she has and the workplace he or she wants to create. From there, you’ll be able to easily identify what your team values and how you can prioritize that through your non-comp strategies.