Are Your Current Wages Costing You Talent?

It’s a highly competitive market for securing top talent these days, with workers seemingly having the upper hand as we come out of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

But how do you know whether the wages you’re offering your employees are comparable to what other competing businesses would offer or enough to retain your top employees so they won’t be lured away? 

Here are a few things to consider and why it’s worth taking a closer look at employee pay. 

  • Your top employees are leaving.

    This is perhaps the biggest red flag and warning sign. If, after years of loyalty and steady retention, you notice a turn toward departures and turnover, it’s time to reevaluate what’s going on here. If your company conducts exit interviews as people leave, ask, directly and plainly, whether pay was an issue. If you hear “yes” more than “no” to that question, there’s your problem. Employees who are leaving because of pay, especially if that’s the main factor driving their decision to change jobs, are those who would otherwise stay under your roof, but you’re losing out because you can’t keep up. 

  • Recruitment is taking a hit.

    When you have an open position, is it taking longer to get applications? Is the quality of the candidates who are applying somehow less than what you received before? Do you feel as though you’re having a difficult time getting the attention and interest in your positions that you did in the past? Check the pay rate of similar jobs in comparable positions at your competitors and see how the wage you offer measures up. 

  • Employee morale is down.

    We’ve all been through a lot in the past few years. Your employees have stayed with you. They have continued to come to work. If your company has turned a corner from any down-swing during the pandemic, it’s time to reward their loyalty. Even if a big across-the-board raise is out of the question right now, offering more each hour to every employee will be appreciated, at least until a more substantial raise is possible. Employees want to know they are appreciated and valued; higher wages are the easiest way to show that. 

  • Pay equity is an issue.

    Be honest. Do the women in your company make as much as the men in the same positions? If the answer is something along the lines of “yes, but…,” you need to stop right there and find a way to fix it. If two people with comparable backgrounds, amounts of experience, education, and training are not paid the same amount for doing the same job, you’re doing it wrong. It’s that simple. People talk, and word gets out — the answer isn’t to try to keep your employees from sharing this information but to even things out, so pay equity is a point of pride among your employees. 

  • The whole world knows how much your leadership makes, and it isn’t a good look.

    Let’s go back to morale for a moment but take a look from a different angle. Did your employees get a raise last year? If yes, that’s great — did it keep up with the pace of inflation and the cost of living? If no, here’s a follow-up question: Did your leadership team get raises and/or bonuses, and if so, were they publicly announced or made available? Very few things will hurt morale and drive potential employees away, like demonstrations of greed and wealth that benefit the highest offices within a company while the workers are told they can’t have more. This is another example of the world-changing: People know they can probably do better in a company where the profits are enjoyed by everyone. 

It’s a simple philosophy: Pay your workers well and fairly, and more people will be interested in working for you. If your current wages don’t measure up, expect to see turnover increase. 

If you’re looking to add to your team or want more information on what others in your industry are offering their employees, call Debbie’s Staffing. We have our fingers on the pulse of the market and can let you know whether your wages are leading or following, plus we can help you find qualified candidates to help fill out your team. Call Debbie’s Staffing today, and let’s get to work!