Money Won’t Keep Your Employees Around

Nov 17, 2017 1 Min Read


Disgruntled employees still cite dissatisfaction as the prime motivating factor in leaving a company

Is it really about the money? We are definitely led to believe it when leaders blame the competition for luring away their employees by dangling the “carrot” of money.

Without fail, they say: “They are leaving for bigger pay cheques.”

These leaders even cite specific examples of what their competitors are paying their employees to switch. It seems plausible to believe that employees do change jobs for the promise of greater pay.

That was until I heard the same exact story from two different companies – competitors blaming each other for stealing their employees.

Both hospitality companies, Company A said that Company B was hiring their waiters and waitresses by offering them RM 200 more a month.

They even justified this by blaming their company for not paying its employees enough.

Then the shocking revelation happened. Leaders from Company B said their employees were being hired by Company A for the exact same wage that Company A accused Company B of paying their staff.

Unfortunately, this is just one of many examples of companies blaming the competition for luring away their employees for minimal pay differences.

I must admit I was a bit confused. Since both companies were accusing the other of the same thing, how could it be that employees were being paid the same at each company yet being stolen away for money? This is what made me wonder: “Is it really about the money?”

Perhaps, there are other factors as to why employees leave, yet instead of admitting this, it is easier for you to blame the salary scale. Actually, there are other factors.

Read: Why You Should Never Promote an Employee Based on Seniority

If it is not only about the money, then what is it that causes an employee to leave?

In 2016, more than one million people left the US workforce because they were discouraged by their job and work environment.

Surely, this idea of discouragement is prevalent in our work-forces as well.

And when an employee is discouraged, it makes even a small increase appear like winning the lottery.

It is really shocking – a downright blow to you as a manager – to think that your employees may be leaving because they are discouraged, and that it’s not really about the money.

While you can deny this, and it is too tempting to believe you are a greater boss than the hallway gossip supports, the number one reason employees leave a job continues to be because of a bad boss or supervisor — in other words, a bad ‘manager’.

We’ve certainly heard this axiom before, since there are still so many bad managers on the loose — the
egomaniacs, the narcissists, the micro-managers, the yellers, and the list could go on. What can you do about it?

Because 79 per cent of employees who quit their jobs cite a lack of appreciation as a key reason for leaving, become appreciative and show it.

Of the people who report the highest morale at work, 94.4 per cent agree that their managers are effective at recognising them.

Stop by or write a note to tell your employees they are doing a good job, and be specific about it. And if they are not doing a good job, then help them get better.

While studying employees at investment banks, psychologist Edward Deci found that managers who offered what is called “autonomy support” — which means helping employees progress by giving meaningful feedback, choice over how to do things, and encouragement — created greater job satisfaction and better performance.

In emerging markets, the opportunity to develop and of course see one’s career progress is a key driver of employer choice.

Your employees want to grow, learn new skills and become the best they can be, so help them.

Check this out: 5 Unspoken Rules To Promotion

After all, your role as leader is to help others succeed in order to deliver the company its desired results.

I can definitely understand why someone would accept a new job for a higher salary, but the salary by itself is not the deciding factor.

That is unless it is an exorbitantly overpriced salary increase.

When the other factors are positive, it takes more than a small increase to lure someone away. Since, you control the other factors, encourage and ensure growth for your employees.

They will thank you by thinking twice the next time an offer of a small salary increase lands on their lap.

Tommy is a CEO coach, author, speaker and adviser who believes in helping good leaders become great! To engage with him, e-mail us at

Reposted with permission.

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This article is published by the editors of with the consent of the guest author. 

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