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May 18, 2018

Here’s a thought bubble: Say you have a “rock star” employee, highly satisfied with his/her job, who came in young and hungry, growing into a superstar over several years with incremental raises, and one day gets woke to the fact they’re being paid way below market value; like in the 25% below or greater range – a huge, almost impossible ask for anyone in today’s business climate.

But is that really the most desirable scenario for everyone? Managers, be mindful. If your best employees are going underpaid, it will become an issue. Sites like make it too easy for them to find out. It’s safest to assume in this day and age that everyone will eventually find out everything. Avoiding the issue only worsens the condition.

Provide alternatives

And we can be real about it – budget considerations are unavoidable, salary talks are hard, and it’s not realistic to assume every demand can be met. But sooner or later, any glaring discrepancies or gaps in compensation will become breaking points. That’s why you should be proactively creating compelling reasons for your best people to stay, above and beyond their compensation.

The right benefits can add great dimension, value, and desirability to a job. Here are three simple ones to get started:

Recognition – It goes without saying, any formal rewards or informal recognition from peers or leadership goes a long way to making people feel included.

Remote work – A job might be more valuable to an employee if they can do it from home, and it cuts costs all around, so be sure to explore every remote work possibility.

Flexible hours – In the same vein, try to make the job more valuable by adding flexibility in working hours that your competitors may not be equipped to offer.

Be proactive

When it comes to retaining employees, high-performing or otherwise, it’s always better to stay ahead of the game, and deep pockets are not always required to create stickiness. Salary is an important consideration, but employee happiness is influenced by more than just sheer compensation. People will remember the human connection and empathy they had from the people they work with far longer than any pay increase. You may not be able to always match everyone’s offer, but you can always show how much they are valued.

This was originally published on the Halo Recognition blog.