March 2024
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TD Magazine

Low Pay Is Affecting Morale

Friday, March 1, 2024

Employees unhappy with their salaries may overlook that in exchange for increased job security.

Employees became more dissatisfied with their financial compensation in 2023, according to cloud-hosted platform BambooHR, which released its Compensation Trends for 2024: Deflation, Transparency, and Benefits report in December.


The study found that 41 percent of 1,500 full-time US salaried employees didn't receive a raise in the past year, representing an 8 percent increase in those left hanging from 2022. Of those who had received a raise over the previous year, respondents reported a 25 percent decrease in the amount from the prior year.

"While an uncertain job market might be keeping employees at a company, it's clear that morale is low," says Anita Grantham, head of HR at BambooHR. "For the second year in a row, our study uncovered that employees feel they aren't getting paid enough. It's crucial for employers to understand these trends to focus on next steps to improve employee engagement and overall retention."

Employers must understand that staff are willing to leave if they don't feel adequately compensated. Seventy-three percent of respondents said they would consider leaving their current jobs for more money. In fact, on average, employees would leave for a 13 percent pay raise—3 percent lower than in 2022. On par with that finding, 46 percent of people who left their jobs for a new company received a pay increase of 14 percent.


Layoffs may have something to do with that. Last year, downsizing expanded from the technology industry into media and finance. The ripple effect is that employees value job security over financial compensation. Twenty-four percent of workers said they would be willing to take a salary cut in exchange for job security for the following year.

With job security at the forefront, BambooHR's report suggests employers increase communication with employees, offer schedule flexibility, stay competitive with salary increases, listen to staff feedback, and address their concerns about their salaries.

About the Author

Bobby Lewis is a writer for ATD; [email protected].

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