Many employers these days are interested in ways they can attract and keep employees, particularly good ones. It is an expensive process to re-hire, train and lose valuable knowledge when someone decides to walk out the door, and as the saying goes; happy workers are productive workers.
Bigger private employers and Government departments tend to have more structure around staff incentives and support, but this doesn’t need to be limited to big business. If you work for a small business (almost half of employed Australians in the private sector do), then there are still ways for you to benefit from employer support, but it could mean taking the initiative yourself.
This involves using pre-tax dollars to pay for certain things. It doesn’t work in all situations and often has a lot to do with your taxable income, so it is worth doing your homework on this first. If your employer offers salary sacrifice, find out what might apply, often it is things like:
- Buying a laptop
- Buying a car
- Paying for parking
- Paying for study
- Contributing to your retirement fund
In some cases it is possible to pay for certain household rates and even your mortgage, but this does not apply in all cases. Check out the taxation office for more information, then speak to the person responsible for payroll at your workplace to see if you can set something up.
Split Your Pay
This is a very simple way to enforce savings for people that aren’t very good at doing it themselves and I talk more about it in my free eBook. Instead of setting up a direct debit yourself, you can ask your payroll person to divide your pay into 2 or more accounts.
If you don’t have ready access to these accounts and you don’t see the money, then it is easier to forget about it. Think about using a system like this for additional home loan payments, savings, investing or a holiday account. You might get a bit of reluctance from payroll to do it, but let them know them they only need to set it up the one time and how much it will help you too.
Health and Other Benefits
It may be possible for you to pay for health cover with pre-tax dollars via salary sacrifice, but if not your employer might like to look at arranging group health cover for employees (and their families) at a discounted rate.
If you think that your employer might be interested in supporting something like this, but doesn’t have to time to look into it, consider doing the research yourself. If you can present a good business case you could make a nice saving for yourself and all of your work mates.
If this idea appeals to you and your employer, then there may be other group memberships you might like to try and leverage, like fitness centres or interest rate discounts from the institution that your employer banks with.
A lot of businesses these days don’t pay overtime, but working extra hours is often something that we have to do to get the job done. If you find yourself working large amounts of overtime, or working weekends without reward, consider discussing alternative means of compensation with your employer.
Perhaps you could negotiate some flexible time that allows you to come in later, go home earlier or just work from home when you need to? If your output doesn’t change, then there is a very good chance that you will be able to achieve this and improve your lifestyle at the same time (a very important part of your overall wealth).
Education and Training
Increasing your wealth isn’t just about getting an immediate pay rise, further education and training will increase your wealth of knowledge and can also increase your ability to earn more over time.
Training is often relegated to the bottom of a very long list of things to do in smaller enterprise, but it can be very beneficial for your personal development. Often the priorities for a business lie with training that is legislated (like licences or safety training), then everything else gets put on the back burner.
Some proactive employers will recognise the importance of up-skilling their workforce to increase their capacity, or to put measures in place for succession planning. If your employer isn’t too great at developing their staff, you could try taking the initiative yourself.
There is a good chance that your boss won’t pay for scuba diving lessons if your job involves working at a computer all day long, but they might be interested in a marketing or business management skill set. Further education can advantageous to both you and your employer, so spend some time thinking about skills that would help the business, but may also help you leverage your position at a later stage.
Does your employer offer you benefits in addition to pay that helps increase your wealth?
Image by RobethK