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Retention strategies: pay is necessary but insufficient

September 20, 2022

When it comes to retaining employees, money may be the top factor. Yet it isn’t enough by itself to retain workers. Recent research led by PwC shows that workers are almost as likely to cite intangible factors related to meaning. Job fulfillment and the ability to be one’s true self at work were ranked second and third among employees considering a job change. 

“These findings align with our 2021 survey results, in which 75% of employees said they wanted to work for an organization that makes a positive contribution to society, and fully half reported experiencing discrimination at work.”, the report says.

According to the paper, the most important factors when considering a change in work environment are*:

  • 71% – I am fairly rewarded financially
  • 69% – I find my job fulfilling
  • 66% – I can truly be myself
  • 60% – My team cares about my well-being
  • 60% – I can be creative/innovative in my job
  • 58%  – I can exceed what is expected of me in my job role
  • 50% – I can choose when I work
  • 47% – I can choose where I work

* % of respondents who selected extremely or very important

The analysis also broke out the cohort of employees who said they were extremely or very likely to look for another job. This is a critical group for managers to understand, and their responses point to clear warning signs that companies need to monitor. Amid the great resignation, these are the biggest factors in determining whether your people are at risk of leaving. 

Compared to people who are extremely or very unlikely to look for another job, people in this cohort are less likely to:

  • find their job fulfilling (-14 percentage points)
  • feel they can be their true self at work (-11 percentage points)
  • feel fairly rewarded financially (-9 percentage points)
  • feel their team cares about them (-9 percentage points)
  • feel that their manager listens to them (-7 percentage points)

“Establishing an environment in which employees feel they can be their authentic selves calls for training leaders, eliminating cultural barriers and blind spots, and holding managers accountable for creating—and modeling— the organization’s culture and behaviors. Finally, leaders should pay much closer attention to the employee experience they offer relative to that of competitors and be able to name their strengths and weaknesses. It should never take the departure of a key employee to remind leaders of the intense rivalry they face from competitors for workers.”, the authors conclude.

Source: PwC