Worker Pay and Engagement: Perception vs. Reality

How much does worker pay factor into employee satisfaction? Surprisingly, perception beats reality: when it comes to pay, it’s not the value of compensation but worker’s perception of how their pay is set that is most influential, according to our recently released report on employee engagement.

We have previously published research that shows how bad people are at guessing how their pay compares to the labor market for similar jobs. When we pulled these numbers for 2017, we found 89% people who believe they are underpaid are actually paid at or even above market value.

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We know employee engagement drives business outcomes, and the goal of this new study was to identify the key drivers of engagement and see what matters most. We found that if workers believe their pay is set though a fair and transparent process, they report higher satisfaction and are less likely to plan on seeking employment elsewhere. The fact is employees are going to form opinions about whether they are paid fairly with or without their employers taking part in that conversation. Companies have the opportunity to build deeper relationships by taking the lead in open, honest and transparent communication around pay.

The following infographic shares some of the report’s findings. For the full report, click here.

Chris Martin

Chris Martin
Chris Martin is a lead data analyst at PayScale.

Chris Martin
Chris Martin is a lead data analyst at PayScale.

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