Negotiation between an employee and employer (or possible employer) come up, salary is often, if not always, the first thing that comes to mind.
Did you know that you can negotiate more than just your salary?
Obviously, if you believe you are worth more, then you should negotiate your salary, but if you feel you are adequately paid or your employer won’t budge on salary, there are a number of other things you can turn to.
What can be negotiated?
As I said, there are a plethora of items that could be up for negotiation. Some of these may depend on the size of your employer and/or the structure of the company, but here’s a solid list that’ll get you started.
- More time off – Vacation, paid time off, etc. It really does pay to take a break from the grind every once and awhile. Studies show that employees that take vacations are more productive than employees that don’t. Not only that, but there are several other benefits as well! (Source)
- Job title – A change in your job title could lead to more respect received by you, as well as feeling more respected by your superiors.
- Allowances/reimbursements – The list for allowances given by an employer is endless, but the common ones are transportation, health insurance (choices), flexible spending account, wellness programs, dental insurance, life insurance, and disability insurance.
- Flexible schedule – Working from home is an in-demand perk nowadays. Especially for people with families. Being able to spend time at home like that is invaluable. Plus, it gives you an excuse to work in your pajamas.
- Equipment upgrades – Whether you work at a desk or operate machinery, having new equipment is always helpful. It makes you more efficient and it can eliminate the headache of working with old equipment.
- Training and education – Going back to school, tuition reimbursement, and/or job training to help you with your current employer.
- Bonuses – A signing bonus if you’re accepting a job or an end of the year bonus based on some metric.
- Relocation/moving expenses – If you’re accepting a new position and have to relocate, this can be part of your offer. If you get moved to another location with your current firm, if they don’t offer it, it’s something worth negotiating.
- Stock options – Potential ownership of your organization, to be exercised at your discretion. Most big company CEOs offer this as part of their compensation.
- Severance – If you’re let go or fired from your employer, it’s the compensation they provide while you look for a new job. Not required by federal law and only a few states make it a requirement, but most companies offer it.
How to negotiate
Now that we’ve covered what you can negotiate, let’s discuss how you negotiate.
- Know your alternative – that could be a different job or a different position within your current organization.
- Minimum willing to accept – this could be related to your salary or some of the items from above.
- What’s the ideal – know what you exactly want out of the negotiation.
- What gives you leverage – how do you add value, or maybe you have a better offer at another company.
- Consider these same concepts from the manager’s perspective.
We mentioned severance above, so I wanted to give a little insight as to how to negotiate that if those circumstances arise.
- Take the other side’s perspective – What are they set to gain or lose with the severance you agree on.
- There’s a financial range for severance – Dismissal because of something you did should result in a lower severance. Dismissal because of something out of the company’s control should result in a more severance.
- Review work history, closely – Job performance, punctuality, rapport with colleagues and management, etc.
- Employer flexibility – Not flexible with what the law says, can’t help you with insurance but might be able to give more severance to “reduce” cost of COBRA, timing payment of benefits (request to get it later as not to affect your unemployment benefits), and a lump sum for outplacement services.
- Negotiation, with the future in mind – Next job.
Negotiation is a part of being an employee, and it’s also a part of life. Knowing what to negotiate and how to negotiate are two very powerful tools.