Low-Cost Compensation and Non-Cash Benefits


As employers, CEOs, managers, and team members in general, we all want to show our appreciation to our employees. As well as feel appreciated back. The issue lies in the fact that many companies can’t afford extravagant compensation packages. Especially in the first few years. As an extra kick in the shins, employee retention is paramount in those first few years. You don’t have the overflow cash to spend on turnover. So keeping those key team members is a stressful factor. 

If this sounds like your situation, we have a solution. There are many options for non-cash benefits that still leave your star employees happy and appreciated.

Basic Benefits Packages

Even at the most basic level, benefits packages should be offered to your employees. These don’t have to break the bank. They won’t have all the frills of the higher packages, but it shows the intention to your employees of looking out for them. 

Benefits options that should always be included are:


Nothing is tougher than stressing about dental expenses. Especially for someone working either low income, or for a startup business where cash flow is unstable. These come up unexpectedly and can be a major blow to the bank. Having dental in the company benefits is like a cherry on top for a basic benefits package. This is because it’s often excluded when companies go for the low-cost benefits options.

Paramedical Services:

Benefits options like chiropractors, massage therapists, physiotherapy, and the like are a great addition. If you can work it into the benefits package. Whether your company is desk based, manual labor, or being on your feet all day, people need care. The assurance of having specialists you can go to without paying the entire bill keeps employees from overworking any injuries that occur.


Eye. Strain. Is. Real. We are not evolved to be staring at a screen all day. For this reason, eye care is our most recommended component for company benefits. Especially if you are a computer-based industry, ensure that your team members have this access to taking care of their peepers. They will thank you with the absence of migraines.

Non-Cash Benefits

This isn’t a joke. There are ample options for non-cash benefits. These are particularly appealing to your team because they are out-of-the-box. How many companies offer a gym membership? Our guess is very few.

These small monthly incurrences have a large impact on your people. Feel free to get creative with these suggestions. Or take a poll with your company to see what other low-cost benefits they would be interested in.


Covering monthly memberships feels like a little birthday present all year long. Below are a list of our favourite subscriptions and memberships to offer. Feel free to mix and match to best suit your people:

  • Amazon prime membership
  • Gym memberships
  • Audible subscription
  • Meditation app subscriptions
  • Udemy subscription
  • Masterclass subscription
  • Other learning apps of their choosing

Flex Working Agreements:

Say you are incredibly short on budget, and are just barely able to afford the basic compensation package. You can also offer flexible working situations as a benefit. One good result from post-pandemic is we as a society are more equipped to handle remote working. Offering these options to your employees is not only a perk for them but it can also reduce the cost of office rental for you. 

Other working situations like flexible hours, flexible working days, and  “wellness days” allow people to feel better about their job. Being able to mold the work week to best fit their extracurricular activities nurtures a more balanced day. As well as a healthier attitude towards their work. Adding in the assurance that mental health days are recognized and taken seriously keeps the brain happy and the working relationship strong.

Plan work around life, not life around work.

Compensation Boosters

This is the area where we tread cautiously.

Compensation boosters can be great incentives to work harder and foster loyalty to a company. Although, they can be tricky to manage and are often unpredictable.

These are recommended when you are a bit more financially stable, as you can otherwise find yourself in a sticky situation.

Boosters like stock options, profit-sharing, and offering equity in the company help employees feel valued because they have a stake in the company. Having that bit of ownership feeling is a sure-fire way to incite great work and deadline crushers. Enter into these boosters with caution and a lot of research. Any time shares and equity come into play, it’s a major league ball game.

As business owners, we know that our day to day operations can’t be run without every person on our team. For this reason, we want to treat them well and show our appreciation. As part of that appreciation, we need to keep the company cash flow healthy and sustainable. This means no erratic spending. Non-cash benefits and low-cost compensation is the answer to showing love to your compatriots while keeping cash flow in mind.

If you need help assessing the best compensation mix for your company, or want to discuss other alternatives, feel free to reach out to discuss our HR services. We love helping companies nurture and appreciate their teams in financially healthy ways.

Helina Patience, CPA, CMA
Author: Helina Patience, Founder, CPA, CMA, BA (Hons), BEd

Helina is a CPA, CMA with over fifteen years of experience in finance & HR within multinational companies, across many industries. Also the CEO of entreflow consulting group where I help small to medium-sized businesses get organized, grow, and crush their goals. I hold vast global experience after living and working in Australia, India, the UK and Ireland. Connect on LinkedIn.

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