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It’s not all about the pounds and pence





Posted by Joise Pileio FCIPD on 08 May 2019

It’s not all about the pounds and pence

HR Reward | Employee engagement | Flexible working | National Living Wage | Low Pay

High retail turnover is almost always attributed to the national minimum wage (NMW) without really looking into the core reasons people leave. With so much focus on the NMW at the moment in retail in UK, it’s worth taking a breath to understand all the factors at play regarding why someone leaves an organisation

Would someone who loves their job, and is content with many of the hygiene factors of their employment, really leave for 20p more?  Would 20p, or even 50p, make that much difference to a millennial in switching jobs? 

At first glance, Deloitte’s 2016 millennial survey might suggest so.  This study shows that pay and financial benefits drive millennials’ choice of organisation more than anything else. But does this mean all else is lost?

So, let’s explore the revolving door of millennial employment decisions for a moment to better understand what is important.

Firstly, let’s apply the apples approach.  Is the pay relative to the job someone is doing? Paying the same salary to someone for a job which requires minimum effort compared to someone else who ends up needing to exert additional effort – mentally or physically – is not apples for apples (or like for like). Therefore it’s far too simplistic to say that pay alone is the reason people leave their jobs. It has to be a multi-factorial decision. 

Indeed, the Deloitte report echoes that while pay may be the strongest single driver of choice in determining a career change it does NOT work in isolation. Other factors come into play. When monetary incentive is taken out of the equation, work life balance, opportunities to progress or take on leadership roles and flexible working arrangements stand out. Deriving a sense of meaning, and training programs that support professional development are also important. You yourself will know of instances where pay doesn’t even feature when people leave a job, because they end up in a role paying equal to or even less that what they were previously earning – many other factors are often cited.

So, in an environment where retailers are struggling to move on pay and to balance pay decisions against the downward pressure on operating costs, they should take heart.  A focus on the non-monetary incentives that accompany a career change decision could make all the difference and ensure an employer is more successful than its rivals in securing the talents of the millennial generation.

To talk about pay at your organisation, please get in touch by emailing or call 020 3457 0894.

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