Considering 15% of employees had a raise of 6%–10% this year, it may be time to take a look at those workers who haven’t had a raise in a while. Consider the value they bring to the table. Can you afford to lose them, based not only on their financial contributions but their soft skills, including leadership, positivity, and reliability?
As you evaluate your workforce and determine which employees are most deserving of a raise this year, be sure to consider those who are less likely to speak up for themselves.
When asked if they felt confident asking for a pay raise, 41% of workers said no. Perhaps consistent with other findings, as a whole, women were less confident about asking for a raise (48% compared to 33% of men). Unfortunately, when asked whether they were fairly compensated, slightly more women than men also said they were underpaid (49% versus 45%).
Comparing answers in the Pay and Benefits Report for why they felt they were underpaid, the top response for women was their experience wasn’t properly recognized or rewarded.
Men were most likely to say their employer deliberately keeps wages low. Interestingly, women were less likely than men to name discrimination as a reason they were underpaid.
Affordable ways to motivate employees
Incentivizing employees with raises and bonuses is all well and good for those who can afford it, but for employers who are strapped for cash, the thought of bumping up every member of the team by 9.3% may be laughable.
Fortunately, some of the most highly motivating incentives are also the most cost-effective.
Top five incentives that motivate employees to work harder
- Flexible work schedules (76% want this, but only 18% get it)
- Performance-based annual raises (73% want this, but only 10% get it)
- Discretionary bonuses (66% want this, but only 7% get it)
- Recognition awards/prizes (63% want this, but only 7% get it)
- Option to work from home (57% want this, but only 8% get it)
Based on the QuickBooks Payroll survey results, employees say a flexible work schedule is the highest valued benefit. It is also the most common.
And yet, just 18% of respondents said they get it now, and of those who didn’t, 76% said they want it. But what does a flexible work schedule look like?
For many, it’s the ability to come in early or stay late, so employees don’t have to spend valuable paid time off every time they have a dentist appointment or a parent-teacher conference.
It could also be a schedule built around the times they’re most productive—a potential win for those who’ve felt the productivity burnout that often hits just after lunch.
Remember that study that revealed millennials now make up the largest portion of workers in the U.S.? According to Bentley University, 77% of them also believe flexible work hours would make them more productive at work.
But getting a flexible schedule isn’t the only non-monetary incentive employees value. Recognition in the form of awards or prizes was desirable to 63% of employees, followed by the option to work from home (57%).
Employers looking at implementing a financial incentive might be struggling with the details.
How do employees prefer to receive such incentives? No. 1 was the performance-based annual raise, followed by the discretionary bonuses and profit sharing.
According to survey data, gainsharing (or rewards for cost-savings) was the least common incentive and one of the least valued. Only 3% of employees get it now, and only 46% said this would or does motivate them.
Equity/stock options were also seen as less desirable. Just 5% of respondents said they get these now, and of those who don’t get them, 46% said they want to receive equity or stock.