Managing pay rises: In the past, pay has always come quite a way down on the list of priorities for employees. Iain McMath, managing director of Sodexo Motivation Solutions examines whether this has now changed in the current economic climate.

I don’t necessarily believe that pay is the most important priority to ensure job satisfaction, even in these pressured economic times. Positive and secure work environments remain some of the most important requirements for workers. Even employees on the minimum wage wouldn’t necessarily consider their wage as the first and only aspect that motivates them in their work role.

Diverse employee remuneration packages can help motivation and increase morale at work. This may include opportunities for advancement, such as training and development, challenging and interesting work, job security and employee recognition. Additionally, staff value benefits such as flexible working, childcare vouchers or a subsidised gym membership. These are all good ways of allowing staff to save money, whilst also helping them to manage their childcare requirements and stay happy and healthy at work.

Handling demands for pay rises in an economically testing time:
While businesses may not necessarily be in a position to give pay rises at present, staff incentives are a popular way for employers to show their staff members that they are valued and also reap the tax benefits as a result. For employees, benefits can really improve their work-life balance.

Multi-store retail vouchers are also a popular benefit and are perceived as a treat, rather than impersonal cash bonuses, which don’t engender the same feeling of receiving an individual gift.

Research has proven that a happier workforce is more productive and employees stay longer in their roles. By offering flexible benefits and incentives, you can encourage staff to reach their full potential and reward them for doing so, without the large costs associated with pay rises.

Other incentives to a pay rise:

There are many different ways of using incentives as an alternative to a pay rise. Rewarding employees for exceptional work using retail vouchers, such as the SayShopping pass, encourages them to perform better. Multi- vendor retail vouchers enable employees to choose a treat for themselves, rather than cash bonuses which they would have to pay tax on – and which all too often get lost or forgotten in their day-to-day spending.

Similarly, childcare vouchers are a good option for a pick-and-mix benefits package, as they have a high perceived value whilst costing the employer relatively little. Childcare vouchers carry tax incentives for both employees and employers and have already proven to be an invaluable resource for thousands of hardworking parents, as they can be used to pay for childcare, after school clubs or even holiday camps up to the age of 15.

A good childcare voucher provider (such as SayCare by Sodexo Motivation Solutions) offers a scheme with low levels of administration, is easy to use and is a member of the CVPA (Childcare Voucher Provider Association).