Managers self-reported that salary is the top reason employees leave their company. Is that right? Is there something else going on?
Is it really “all about the Benjamins” for employees or do talented employees stay for more that pay? Glassdoor recently published a survey of hiring managers that reported that their top reason employees quit is salary.
While compensation is a compelling reason why many employees will seek a new job, we can’t point to just salary as the single reason employees quit. After all, we know that public service employees in government, education, and first responder jobs aren’t as well paid as they deserve. However, employees in those fields stay for more than pay – but why?
There is a flaw in the logic of the survey. Glassdoor asked managers why employees left. It is easy for a manger to discount their own part in the employee’s disengagement and departure and point to compensation as the key reason. I can imagine a scenario where when asked, the employee would say they’re leaving for more compensation. It may be partially true. It’s easier though to point to compensation as a reason for departure than to report “my manager is a jerk, a micromanager, takes all of the credit, dumps work on me, doesn’t honor commitments, plays favorites, etc.” To preserve the relationship with the employer – the employee might decide to return one day – the employe points to a less personal reason like compensation as the deciding factor.
People stay for more than pay. While compensation is a factor in employee satisfaction. It’s important to know that connection to the organizations mission, trust in their direct manager, an effective work culture, and development opportunities are other reasons employees choose to stay with an organization. Ensuring that employees have a compelling experience isn’t just the responsibility of HR. We’ve learned that it costs about $4000 to replace an employe. That’s a cost that the finance department and all business managers should be aligned to mitigate.