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Employees give "pay" as an issue sometimes because that's the easiest thing to point to. It's the reason given when people leave the company as well.

Derek - Whenever I see a statistic like "83% . . are looking for a new job this year" I'm immediately suspicious. Taken literally, that means that out of every 10 employees in any given company, almost 9 are actively seeking to leave! If true (and I doubt it's veracity), I don't think pay has anything to do with it. Pay has been the whipping boy for all things deemed unsatisfactory since surveying employees began. Remember the old Employee Satisfaction Surveys that were all the rage in the '80's and '90's? I administered 1000's of them, and regardless of the overall sat results Pay was always an issue. You can never slay that dragon; whatever your comp practices, it's never gonna be enough for some percentage of folks.

No, the high percentage of employees looking elsewhere has to do with the job insecurity created by the ease with which they are discarded by their employers. Like it or not, the sad fact of the matter is that employee loyalty is a thing of the past. We've been sending messages out for decades that the real employer is You, Inc. Every time the economy hits a speed bump (read Stock Market decline) the first reaction is to cut employees, and hundreds of thousands of workers get the axe. RIF's are a financial tool and a management tool: don't like an employee but can't find a performance issue to fire 'em? Reorganize!

There's no question that some companies engage in draconian pay practices and who are willing to tolerate extremely high turnover. But in this age of talent shortage organizations are becoming more sensitive to competitive pay practices. Regardless, until employees begin to feel safe again, the devil we don't know is going to be better than the devil we know.

John and Jacque, great points. You're right -- "more money" is the easy, safe answer, not necessarily the true one.

You inspired me to write in more detail on this on my Recognize This! blog - please check it out. http://www.recognizethisblog.com/index.php/2014/05/retain-employees-will/

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