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NEW YORK, May 14, 2009 — Today, many employees have been
laid off, let go, fired, right-sized or whatever the new
economic recession has deemed them. Work loads are doubling,
hours are getting longer and less work is getting done
because morale is in the toilet. It couldn’t get any worse
… but then an employee says that she or he would like to
have a pay raise because they are doing the work of three
employees and haven’t had a pay raise in two years.

Scan recent online news and search for “getting a pay
raise.” The majority of articles provided details for an
employee to get the pay raise they deserve. It’s safe to say
that everyone deserves a pay raise – especially those who
are still employed. But budgets won’t allow it, bosses won’t
allow it, stockholders won’t allow it, and, let’s face it,
if managers can’t get a pay raise, employees certainly
aren’t going to get a pay raise.

So what can be done when a company can’t give a pay raise
but a consultant/employee has been dedicated since the
onslaught of layoffs began?

Below are six pay raise alternatives that have worked for
many business managers.

Show Them The Love:

Typically in a business manager role, the opportunity arises
to go to lunch with a client, go to sporting events,
concerts, etc. Step aside and pass those tickets along to an
employee or consultant. A $150 dollar ticket to a Billy Joel
concert goes a long way and provides maximum ROI. Images
will be posted on their social networking pages, the company
will get maximum exposure and competitors will lose job
candidates because they’ll wonder why their consulting
firm/employer doesn’t “show them that kind of love.”

A Good Meal:

In April 2008, 79 percent of Americans polled said they
considered going out to dinner a “luxury.” Treating an
employee to an exceptionally good lunch (including picking
him or her up from the office) is a tremendous display of
appreciation. And don’t discuss business! The whole point of
the meal is for the employee to escape for an hour or so,
enjoy a great meal and unplug.

Call Me Anytime:

Give cell phone breaks. Fold a consultant/employee into the
company cell phone plan. Many companies have a massive plan
with “bucket minutes.” Over the past few years, cell phones
have become a necessity. One less bill per month is an
awesome feeling.

New Business Cards:

Award an employee a new title. If an employee is a
programmer, make him a “senior programmer.” If most of the
department has been laid off, this employee is a lead dog
anyway. If “senior” doesn’t fit, try “lead,” etc. Get
creative. Be sure to order new business cards for your
employee, too.

Everyone Hates Traffic:

Offer a flexible schedule or telecommuting. Not having to
sit in traffic to make it to the office at 8 a.m. is
appealing to an employee. Coming in later means the employee
gets to sleep later, cruise in on the freeway with less
traffic and probably arrive at the office a little less
stressed. The option to telecommute cuts down on gas and car
maintenance costs. The more money an employee can save, the

Get Creative:

Let employees/consultants come up with his or her own
“perk.” If it’s a viable option, implement it immediately.

Especially today, employers are lucky to be able to maintain
their current staff levels and/or work with the employees that
are left. There are alternatives available that now allow us
to hit the end call button or watch the kids’ soccer games
and attend the dinner party that our wife/husband had
planned with the new neighbors. There are solutions to
prevent working employees’ tails off and their fingers to
the bone.

Check out additional ways to keep your employees motivated
and engaged that will help your organizational performance

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Author: Andy Quayle

Andy was born in the Isle of Man and currently lives in Pittsburgh.
Known globally as a willing source for tech news and views, Andy takes great pride in consultation and education.

Should his schedule permit, Andy is available to help you with your SEO and Web Analytics needs.