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Employee Bonuses Or Non-Wage Compensation?

Posted by Leslie Ruhland on Feb 12, 2019 11:25:42 AM
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Many employee benefits are required by law, such as minimum wage, overtime, family leave, workers compensation and disability. In addition, many employers offer bonuses as performance rewards. But is that the only way to compensate workers?



There are other types of benefits that are provided by employers that are ongoing and part of a company's offering for prospective employees. These can include such things as health insurance for many smaller companies, dental insurance, vision care, life insurance, paid vacation leave, personal leave, sick leave, child care, fitness, a retirement plan, and other optional benefits offered to employees and their families, according to The Balance Careers.

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Benefits for Employee Retention

When it comes to attracting and retaining top talent and quality employees, many businesses will invest in these additional benefits or add to the legally mandated benefits they already must provide. 

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has determined an average of 10 annual paid holidays are offered by U.S. companies. In addition, the average amount of vacation days provided works out to 9.4 days after one year of employment.  Almost 75 percent of American businesses offered health insurance, but almost all them included a mandatory monthly employee contribution.

In addition, approximately 50 percent of medium and large employers reportedly offered either a "defined benefit or a defined contribution pension plan" according to the BLS. 

Along with these more "practical" and monetary-based benefits, there are a number of perks that can and are offered by employers. Environmental and cultural "perks" can include dog-friendly workplaces, game rooms for employees, and full-service coffee bars.

According to a post at,

"More traditional perks at work may include a company car (which the employee also uses as a personal vehicle), discount travel fares, and exclusive access to premium hotel suites, while the newer breed of perks could include Summer Fridays, gym memberships, standing desks, and off-site team building activities."

The article goes to note that,

"Many great work perks, like having fresh fruit and snacks available to employees, lounge areas (like gaming areas, ball pits, and trampolines!), or nap rooms, make the environment more inviting for employees."

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Perks in Lieu of Bonuses

Many employers choose to give bonuses either based solely on a worker's performance over a specific period of time, such as an employee recognition program, or company-wide bonuses to reward everyone for corporate achievement.

However, monetary bonuses can create a strain on the profitability of many companies making it difficult for employers to reward their employees as they would like to. Because of these common financial constraints, many employers have opted for non-wage compensation in lieu of cash bonuses.

Multiple studies and surveys have shown that employees actually value many less tangible benefits over cash rewards or bonuses. This is not to say that monetary compensation should not be provided, but there are many perks that can be provided instead of strictly cash.

The Mercer 2018 Global Talent Trends study determined that over 50 percent of employees surveyed wanted their employers to offer more flexible work options. In addition, a recent survey by FlexJobs found that,

"...working parents ranked workplace flexibility ahead of salary. A whopping 84% of working parents said work flexibility is the number one most important factor in a job, with work-life balance ranking in as a close second at 80%."

Work flexibility can be offered with telecommuting, flexible schedules and unlimited PTO. These types of perks also benefit employers. Companies that offer flexibility find that it helps their employees maintain a positive work-life balance, reduces workplace stress, improves mental well-being and encourages overall productivity.

Education opportunities, health and well-being initiatives and tools, and employee-led social cause efforts can provide a multitude of non-wage compensation perks to both reward productivity and to foster retention and employee loyalty.

Let Accuchex Be Your HR Management Partner

In addition to a growing and demanding role in recruiting, hiring, and retaining employees, the HR staff is responsible for other functions such as payroll management, tax filings, employee records compliance, and so forth.

Considering alternatives such as outsourcing is increasingly becoming a cost-effective and strategic option. Accuchex can help you in managing your HR needs, payroll processes, and staying on top of compliance demands. Get your Free Download: Payroll Outsourcing Guide to help you make an informed decision or call Accuchex Payroll Management Services at 877-422-2824.


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Topics: bonuses, benefits, company culture, employee engagement, perks

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