Beyond Pay: 32 Benefits to Negotiate for as an Employee


Your salary is only one piece of your total compensation package that’s offered to you. While employers may not have flexibility when it comes to retirement and healthcare plans, they may have it in other areas. The most important question to answer is – what’s most important to you? Don’t ask for something that doesn’t have value to you. I’ve outlined 32 benefits (alphabetized) to consider when making your counter offer in your next negotiation!

1. Accidental death insurance: This is especially important for dangerous jobs.

2. Bonus: You can request this as a sign-on bonus or if you’re already working there, as additional pay as a reward for strong performance. This helps when the budget doesn’t necessarily allow for an overall increase.

3. Business travel insurance: If you travel a lot for the job, it’s wise to have this extra coverage.

4. Dental insurance: This is not included in most medical plans. It’s gaining in popularity and is often cheaper through employers than you could get on your own.

5. Dependent care: Some employers offer a plan for employees to deduct pre-tax income for care of dependents. Others subsidize childcare (or even offer it on-site).

6. Disability insurance: There are actually two kinds of disability insurance: short term (up to six months) and long term (beyond six months). You should really take advantage of this insurance. Sometimes, short-term disability insurance is how employers offer paid parental leave.

7. Employee-assistance programs: Some employers offer free or low-cost counseling for employees dealing with situations such as substance abuse or family problems.

8. Flexibility in hours and in office time: Many organizations are open to employees setting their own schedules and having flexibility in on-site time in the office. This is usually highly dependent on the type of work and office culture. (See Remote Work below)

9. Health and wellness: Some organizations get a group discount to health clubs and country clubs for their employees.

10. Home office equipment: If you arrange to work at home for part of your position, you can negotiate for the company to purchase certain equipment or pay for a specific service.

11. Life insurance: This is something we often don’t like to think about, but many organizations provide basic term coverage, which you can supplement to provide more protection for your family.

12. Network/Clients: Getting introduced to a higher-profile network and clients (especially if you’re in sales) can be really helpful. You can inquire about ways in which you can be introduced or exposed to these people.

13. Overtime, travel premiums, and comp time: Many organizations offer some compensation for employees who work past normal hours—whether at the office or while traveling on business.

14. Paid holidays: Most organizations are closed for business on certain holidays and pay their employees for the day off (such as Thanksgiving, New Year’s, or Labor Day).

15. Parking and commuting reimbursement: Not many companies offer these perks, but some companies do provide benefits related to commuting.

16. Pension plans: Employers contribute to plans that accumulate over time but may also require you to be employed for several years to be fully vested.

17. Professional development: To improve in your field, you may want to attend specific conferences, trainings, continuing education courses, or even coaching services. Some organizations pay for these opportunities.

18. Profit sharing: If you are working for a growing organization, profit-sharing programs can offer you great yearend bonuses based on the success of the organization or your division.

19. Promotion opportunities: Some organizations have internal and external newsletters, FB pages, podcasts, etc. This could be a way to get the word out about your work and position yourself as an expert in your field.

20. Retirement plans: Employers sometimes offer a 401(k) or 403(b) retirement account. Often, the employer will match part of your contribution.

21. Remote/telecommuting work: If you value being virtual, you can request to work virtually. Be sure to include specifics – e.g. once a week and core hours you’ll be available.

22. Sabbatical: An extended vacation – a time to recharge your batteries. Some organizations already offer this as a benefit once you’ve stayed for a certain period of time.

23. Salary progression: What kind of increases can be expected in the first three to five years? What is the average range of raises? Are there performance-based raises and bonuses?

24. Severance pay and outplacement services: This is something you can negotiate when you join a company or when you negotiate for increases. This is an especially important benefit if you are working somewhere that is risky, like a start-up.

25. Sick or personal days: Most organizations give employees a certain number of paid sick or personal days per year. Sometimes they’re lumped in with vacation time as “paid time off.”

26. Stock options or employee stock-ownership plans: These plans allow employees to purchase company stock options at below-market prices. This is a way for a company to increase your pay without having to increase payroll expenses.

27. Stretch assignments: If you want to take your role to the next level (or you’re bored at work), you can ask for an assignment that will help you grow, learn something new, give you access to higher-profile teams and resources.

28. Title: Suggest a change to align your title with your current responsibilities and your long-term career goals.

29. Travel assignments: If jet-setting appeals to you, you can negotiate to have a specific number of travel opportunities to fulfill your work duties.

30. Tuition reimbursement: Organizations that want to encourage their employees to gain further education and training offer partial or complete tuition reimbursement.

31. Vacation days: Most organizations have a system based on level in the organization and tenure. Entry-level workers often start with a week or two of paid vacation.

32. Vision insurance: Eye exams, glasses or contact lenses, and other eye-related issues are not covered by most medical plans, so some employers offer a separate plan.


Have you negotiated something that’s not on the list? Let me know at @coach_lins.