Employees Prefer Promotion to Raises

Posted February 3, 2017 by Mary McGinley

When asked whether employees prefer a pay raise to a promotion, the overwhelming majority of workers opt for a promotion.

According to a recent survey of 1,200 professionals from around the world, more than half, some 63% indicated that they would prefer to receive a promotion – even if it meant no salary increase for them.

The poll, conducted by Korn Ferry, a global advisory firm based in Los Angeles, found it is important to workers to be recognized for the contributions that they make within an organization. That recognition would preferably come in the form of a promotion.  

Dennis Baltzley, senior partner and global head of leadership development at Korn Ferry says that, “To retain the best and the brightest, organizational leaders need to put development and clear career pathing plans in place, not just for top leaders, but for those across the organization.”

The survey also indicated that many organizations just aren’t doing enough to provide advancement opportunities for workers. Of those surveyed, 56 percent indicated that they did not get a promotion within the last 12 months because of either having nowhere to go or promotions being “bottlenecked”. The survey also showed that some 19 percent, nearly one-fifth of those who responded said that office politics got in the way of their advancing within their organization.

Not surprisingly, 84% of those participating in the Korn Ferry study said that their first action after being passed over for a promotion would be to have a conversation with their boss in order to discuss areas of improvement so that they would be more likely to be considered at a later time.

But a manager having to face a pointed conversation with a worker about having been passed over is the last thing they want, according to Peter Keseric, a managing consultant at Korn Ferry Futurestep. “Conversations should start early on and include details on the exact key performance indicators that need to be achieved to earn a promotion, and there should be regular meetings to ensure progress is being made.”

There are varying opinions among those who participated in the survey as to when promotions can or should be expected. Of those surveyed, 38% of respondents say that it should be within 2 -3 years, while 5% of respondents felt that they should be promoted after just one year. You can read more of the survey and the article at HRE online here.

Every HR professional realizes that a number of factors come into play regarding promotions or pay raises and other parts of a rewards package. The motivations for each worker are different. For some workers, having job security is far more important to them than either being promoted. The world of work is constantly changing and human resource professionals must adapt and change with it.

At EinsteinHR, we can help you find the right person to fill positions for your organization. With our alliance partner, we can also help you put together comprehensive benefits packages to offer to your new hires and help you find the most effective ways in retaining your top talent by promoting your most capable workers from within.

Whether you need to hire a new employee or need help managing and keep your top talent for your organization, we can help. Contact us today at 770-962-1700 to find out more.