It’s one of the golden questions of the corporate working world - does giving an employee a higher salary increase their engagement? While we wish a straightforward ‘yes’ or ‘no’ could conclude the matter, it’s not all that simple.
Like most things in the world of work, there are a number of factors at play that affect engagement rates - salary is just one of them. In some situations, a higher salary can indeed increase employee satisfaction, but that’s not always the case, as we’re about to discuss.
The Link Between Salary and Employee Engagement
It’s easy to subscribe to the belief that paying your team more will lead to higher rates of satisfaction, and therefore engagement. Money can’t buy happiness, of course, but it can buy a certain degree of comfort, and isn’t that close enough?
Money worries inevitably lead to stress, depression, sickness and workplace conflict - things no employer wants to see their team suffer from. A 2018 study by Salary Finance found that a whopping 40% of UK employees had money worries - an abysmal statistic that’s undoubtedly been amplified by the pandemic. The study also found that employees who were stressed about money were 2.2 times more likely to look for a new job, and were 7.6 times less likely to complete daily tasks.
Of course, none of this is good for your work culture, productivity or employee engagement rates. But it would be a mistake to assume that handing out pay rises left, right and centre will solve all of your problems. More often than not, higher paid jobs lead to increased amounts of stress, as concluded by a study conducted by Agency Central. This is because employees who are paid more often bear the brunt of increased responsibility.
And if working conditions are already poor, their shiny new salary isn’t going to make them feel any better.
The truth is, your employee engagement rates are affected by a number of factors, including working conditions, career progression, recognition, office relationships, as well as monetary reward. And although this isn’t an all-encompassing list of factors, it gives you an idea of other components that are easily overlooked by employers trying to boost engagement rates.
So How Can You Boost Employee Engagement Rates and Satisfaction?
An Increased Salary May Not Go Amiss
Although everyone has their own idea of a ‘salary sweet spot’, the polls suggest that most people aspire to earn £44,500-£58,500 per annum to eradicate money worries. Paying your employees more can have a positive impact on their productivity, happiness and engagement rates, but consider or workplace factors too.
Improve Communication With Your Employees
Like with any other relationship, communication is key to fostering healthy workplace connections and levels of satisfaction. Invite your team to tell you what’s going on, rather than playing the guessing game (because it never works). Our easy employee engagement survey is the ideal way to capture employee feedback.
Consult Our 5-Step Strategy to a Highly Engaged Team
We’ve done the hard work for you and designed a comprehensive strategy that’s ready to implement into any workplace. Discover the first step by clicking here and get to work building a highly engaged team. For more HR resources and tips on boosting employee engagement rates, check out our blog.