Is insufficient pay chasing your workers away?

They say staff leave managers, not jobs, but it seems employees don’t agree, with bad pay topping the list of reasons to quit

Is insufficient pay chasing your workers away?

Is turnover high at your company? Are you focused on changing culture and engagement in an effort to keep people around? While it’s worth focusing on those changes in the long term, there might be a faster way to keep your staff, albeit a slightly more expensive one.

Insufficient pay or unfair pay practices is the top reason why employees choose to leave their employers, according to a survey by David Aplin Group.

When asked to recall a former employer whom they had chosen to leave of their own accord, the top five answers (in order) given by the more than 1,800 respondents were:

  • insufficient pay or unfair pay practices
  • lack of honesty/integrity/ethics
  • lack of trust in senior leaders
  • lack of work-life balance
  • unhealthy/undesirable culture.

One-half (49%) of managers and HR professionals indicated voluntary turnover is a problem at their organizations but the factors they considered to be the greatest contributors to voluntary employee turnover at their organizations were (in order):

  • insufficient pay or unfair pay practices
  • unmet personal goals and dreams
  • excessive workload
  • unexpected job/career opportunity
  • lack of feedback or recognition.

One-half of employees also indicated the thought of leaving their employer caused them to give less effort to their job.

“Employee turnover affects your bottom line,” said Jeff Aplin, president of David Aplin Group. “What’s more is the cost of replacing an employee is estimated to be between 75 per cent and 200 per cent of the employee’s annual compensation.”

Though insufficient pay or unfair pay practices is listed as the top factor causing employees to think seriously about leaving their organization, 61% of them also indicated they would trade financial or base compensation for extra vacation days or a shorter work week.

Only 52% indicated that a higher salary or pay raise would increase their tolerance for the undesirable aspects of their job, found the survey.

“From Vancouver to Halifax, we are seeing a return to the almighty dollar as the top driver of why people quit jobs in Canada. This is a shift from the softer influences on turnover such as life balance that we’ve seen previously. After a few years of sluggish growth, people are more motivated than ever to get ahead economically,” Aplin said.


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