In our most recent survey of some 120,000 workers across 31 countries, we found that most people feel they are inadequately compensated for their contribution at work. What's more, 57% would prefer a payment system that more accurately reflects their individual input rather than being paid simply for overtime hours. Given that our research consistently shows that money is not the primary motivating factor for employees globally, is it possible that employees have point here? If we know they're not focused primarily on financial reward as a key issue, yet most feel they are in fact under-paid, could they be right?
When you place these two pieces of data together, it seems that workers are not crying foul on salaries for the sake of it. Instead, it seems that they genuinely feel more effort deserves greater reward, and they're not expecting a higher salary for nothing.
While traditional approaches to remuneration have largely focused on telling people what they'll be paid and only negotiating with those that bring it up at specific points throughout the performance process, this broad dissatisfaction with that approach is perhaps food for thought for managers. Is there another way to remunerate staff that truly reflects their performance in a more timely way? Is it possible to have conversations with employees about how they are rewarded for their efforts?
While the answers to these questions in many organizations will be a flat-out "No!", it's worth remembering that dissatisfaction is itself a cost. And, figuring out ways to lower that cost may not be so crazy after all.
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