VOL. 131 | NO. 14 | Wednesday, January 20, 2016
By Angela Copeland
There’s an issue that keeps popping up over and over again. I’ve got to be honest. It’s one of my biggest pet peeves. And, I’ve heard it from so many people lately, I’m fired up about it.
What is the single fastest way for a great, hardworking employee to lose faith in their current company? You got it. Mess with their money. As much as an employee may love their job, the number one reason they get up and go to the office day after day is financial. They have bills to pay. Yet somehow, these fishy financial matters seem to happen regularly and come in many forms.
Sometimes, an employer doesn’t pay their employees on time. This is most common for young, small businesses on financially shaky ground. Even a little delay on a seemingly tiny sum of money can make an employee feel worried and confused. They wonder if the decision was personal. They suspect others may still be getting paid. They can’t imagine how they’re going to pay their bills. Should they quit or stick it out? Is the company secretly going out of business?
Then, there’s annual performance review time. An employee receives a stellar evaluation, yet the boss can only give them a 3 percent raise this year and a pat on the back. The employee knows this amount of money won’t help out at home. It feels like a joke. And, yet somehow, there’s an expectation that the employee should show gratitude for receiving anything at all. The employee begins to wonder if they should look elsewhere. Or, should they really work so hard each day?
Other times, the employer gives the employee a promotion, but doesn’t pay them according to the market rate. The employer often presents this as a “growth opportunity.” It’s a chance for the employee to stretch their skills and learn something new. This can leave the employee reeling. Of all the scenarios, it can cause them to feel the most disrespected and confused. How could they possibly turn down a promotion? But, does the company really value their work, or are they just looking to get a deal?
There are so many other ways employees can be left feeling financially vulnerable. Their employer might not pay their relocation as expected. Or, a signing bonus may not be paid as agreed upon. Or, perhaps their health care doesn’t start on day one and nobody disclosed that detail. Or, maybe they’ve realized they’re making much, much less than their peers.
Whatever the scenario, whenever an employee feels financially taken advantage of, they are likely to start looking for a new job. Regardless of how impersonal or how much of a mistake the issue was to the company, it’s personal to the employee. It impacts them, their family and their future.
One of the quickest and easiest ways to retain top talent is to pay them. Pay them for their work. Pay them fairly, and pay them on time. Because, if you don’t, somebody else will.
Angela Copeland is CEO and founder of Copeland Coaching and can be reached at CopelandCoaching.com.