Is Salary Intelligence Everything?

Posted by Talent Intelligence on Mon, Mar 9, 2015 @ 10:03 AM

Find out why throwing money at an employee retention issue isn’t always the best solution.  

SalaryIntelligence

Companies sometimes feel, when creating a solid employee value proposition, that salary needs to be a key component.

In many instances, money can be an effective motivator. However, if your company is struggling with retention issues — but doesn't have the resources to offer hefty salary increases right now — we have some good news.

Recent trends indicate employees may be focusing more on their total reward package, instead of just their take-home pay. In fact, in a recent LinkedIn survey of more than 11,000 engineers and salespeople, work-life balance ranked almost as high as salary, according to Inc.

Of course, employees don’t often enjoy feeling underpaid. Base pay, in most situations, still needs to be competitive to maintain employee satisfaction; so salary intelligence will always remain an important part of recruitment and retention efforts.

But is it possible — or even probable — your organization might be overlooking other offerings, aside from salary, that could help it attract employees and entice them to stay?

Consider the following amenities, which could help energize your employee retention efforts:

• Make sure employees don't feel overworked: As LinkedIn’s research showed, today’s workers generally put a strong emphasis on leading a fulfilling life outside of the office. More than a third — 39 percent — of workers were dissatisfied with their work-life balance in 2014, according to a CareerBuilder survey. Yet more than half — 50 percent — of the workers who said they planned to stay at their job cited a solid work-life balance as the reason. (On a side note, only 43 percent said they planned to stay due to salary.)

Balancing a career with abundant free time seems to be particularly important to Generation Y, according to the Guardian, which says some companies, including Procter and Gamble, have modified their recruitment efforts to emphasize benefits like a year-long family leave, flexible hours and sabbaticals.

• Forget the fancy title: In the past, giving an employee a new moniker may have provided some prestige. Without extra money, though, that’s a salary intelligence shell game move workers most likely won’t see as a step up, according to CIOInsight.

• Provide a positive environment: As Gallup points out, work-life balance doesn't always take the quality of the workday into account. Some workers may not consider being well-compensated for an eight-hour workday a balance, if they’re dealing with a difficult manager or environment. Taking care of any staff performance or other issues when you first spot them can help. (For tips, check out our January 12 blog post on smoothing over office conflict.)

• Offer opportunities for advancement: Forty-five percent of workers who said they were planning on leaving their job last year blamed their anticipated exit on an inability to progress from their current position, according to CareerBuilder.

Even if an employee is content now, boredom and stagnation are always potential threats. Your organization may benefit from defining distinct paths for employees to advance to more experienced positions — and offering internal or external training to help them obtain the necessary skills to get there.

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