Negotiating Salaries… What Matters Most to the New Generation

When it comes to salary negotiation, the process has largely been committed in the same manner for, well, forever. But there seems to be a shift with newer generations in that added benefits are playing more of a key role in their negotiations.

More and more, almost as important as one’s salary itself, people are negotiating their benefits and perks as a means of valuing their work. The notion of “work hard, play hard” is gaining more and more momentum and gaining more prominence in the world of salary negotiation. And that means a solid work-life balance can be just as coveted as an inflated salary.

So what are some of these negotiating terms being brought to the table?

Flexible scheduling — It’s become increasingly more common for people to negotiate alternative work schedules, like having every other Friday off, working “off” hours (say, 10-6 instead of 9-5), or working from home once a week. The freedom to devote time to your life outside of the office (and being able to dictate your own use of time) can often contribute to a more productive work life, especially when people feel like they are given enough time to tend to their personal lives.

Additional vacation days — Similar to flexible scheduling, another key negotiating factor is requesting additional time off. Work-life balance is only successful when one has a certain amount of freedom to recharge their batteries. Sometimes in order to maintain focus and devote yourself to a job, you need some solid breaks to avoid burn-out.

Continuing education / License fee reimbursement — As the professional world becomes more competitive and employees work to cultivate their skill development, they may ask their employer to “invest” in them by contributing to their continuing education or licensing fees.

Employer contribution to 401k — Just as contribution to one’s education is a sign of a company’s investment in their employees, contribution to employee retirement funds shows an investment in the future wellbeing of the employee and can help encourage loyalty and longevity with a firm.   

Smaller perks, like having your own office — Assuming space and stature provide, sometimes having your own work space can be a solid, if somewhat minor, perk to have. It may signify a certain level of respect a company holds for their employee. And it may genuinely help some employees be better workers. Having one’s own space to focus on their work, without distraction, means more productivity and more dedication.