Our research indicates that salary increases remain the most valued reward for employees in Canada.

However, numerous employers are grappling with budgetary constraints, or even the necessity to reduce headcount, as talent's salary expectations continue to rise.

How do you retain and attract talent when your company's finances can't keep up with current salary trends in the Canadian market, and morale is low?

This challenge becomes even more critical when companies simply cannot afford to lose their experienced, already qualified, and trusted employees.

In this context, employers' creativity and open-mindedness are essential. They must reinvent themselves and explore alternative ways of rewarding the dedication of their teams.

Here are a few alternatives to salary increases, effectively demonstrating to your employees how much you appreciate their work.


a few alternatives to salary increases

Various benefits once offered in the workplace could offset a lower-than-average salary offer. 

However, many of these benefits have lost their relevance today, particularly with the widespread adoption of teleworking and hybrid arrangements.

Group events, snacks, and designated areas for employee comfort and entertainment are no longer sufficient as alternatives to a pay rise. 

Here are a few more concrete alternatives that appear to be unanimously accepted by many employees, irrespective of their sector of activity.

take advantage of one-off bonuses

While an exponential annual pay rise can't be guaranteed just yet, you can express appreciation with a more modest one-off bonus. 

This approach offers the advantage of providing you with additional time to increase profits, allowing your talented workforce to anticipate a more substantial and sustainable increase in the future.

Read our case study to learn how to maximize the impact of this type of action.

offer training and professional development programmes

You can't offer your employee a raise, but have you considered offering training opportunities?

This initiative is an excellent way of investing in the development of your employees, motivating them to improve their performance and having a positive impact on your budget in the long term.

In some cases, certain training courses can also be reimbursed by the government.

This solution offers three advantages:

  1. A satisfactory alternative for the employee, especially when an instant salary increase is not feasible.
  2. Continuity in training and skills development for your workforce.
  3. The potential for government reimbursement for certain employee training.

Download our guide on this subject to delve deeper into these benefits.

offer flexibility

If you can't provide higher compensation to your talented individuals, even with their commendable results this quarter, consider granting them 'more time.' 

If they've demonstrated effective time management and performance, offering additional personal time for family, sports, or personal projects can be invaluable compensation compared to a traditional pay raise.

Learn how to introduce flexibility within your organization or enhance the flexibility you already offer by downloading our guide.

offer extra holiday days

In today's high-pressure work environment, whether face-to-face or remote, the strain on teams can swiftly result in burnout and stress among employees. 

Introducing bonus holiday days and other forms of leave is an initiative highly valued by both current employees and prospective recruits.

It's not uncommon for job interview candidates to express openness to negotiating additional vacation days if the offered salary falls short of their expectations. This benefit is among the most sought-after, and it would be regrettable to overlook its potential.

offer office equipment and technical appliances

Integrate into your compensation plan the option for employees to acquire office equipment and technical devices, including additional screens, ergonomic work chairs, keyboards, headphones, and more.

This approach offers the dual benefit of being both a business expense and an employee perk. Moreover, it enhances productivity while mitigating the risk of musculoskeletal injuries.

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how can randstad help?

Despite the aforementioned solutions, it's crucial to acknowledge that competitive compensation remains a pivotal factor in the long-term attraction and retention of top talent.

Paying your employees more pays off! This often results in:

  1. Increased Productivity: Competitive salaries serve as a motivation for employees to give their best, translating into higher productivity and improved work quality.
  2. Talent Retention: Compensation investments contribute to retaining valuable employees, consequently reducing the costs associated with recruiting and training new staff.

However, if you find yourself unable to meet requested increases, impacting your retention rate or the number of applicants to your offers, we at Randstad can assist you in several ways.

We offer assistance In:

  1. Defining the right compensation: Download Randstad's salary guide for valuable insights into salaries. This resource aids in defining compensation packages aligned with your financial capabilities and market averages.
  2. Access to Expert Advice: Tap into the expertise of our teams to develop effective compensation policies tailored to your industry. Reach out to a member of our HR consulting team for personalized support.
  3. Enhancing employee experience and talent retention: Allow us to assist in optimizing your HR processes to improve the overall talent experience within your organization.

Furthermore, by providing access to qualified talent, we facilitate your connection to a pool of professionals whose salary expectations align with your offerings. This support strengthens your team by ensuring you have the necessary skills in place.

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