Workers Rarely Jump Ship

By Deb Perelman  |  Posted 2007-06-29 Print this article Print

Over Pay Alone"> "Especially if you were going to a company that looks after their workers better than [your] last one did, and gives [employees] a robust suite of benefits. Those are the organizations youll see hanging onto their employees," Hopkins said. Recruiters, managers and even worker bees have always focused long and hard on the dollar-value of a job. Managers and CIOs fret that they cannot afford what the best and brightest can be paid elsewhere. Recruiters try to convince management that offering higher salaries will pay off in the form of higher-quality talent. And IT professionals hope they will be able to negotiate decent salaries. But, according to the research, when employees are happy, salary is rarely a deal-maker or a deal-breaker.
Job happiness, cultural fit and the potential for growth are everything, despite the emphasis managers put on salaries.
Forrester Research puts its money on what it calls "cultural alignment" as a key ingredient to workplace happiness and retention. "Compensation plays a role, but cultural alignment plays a bigger one, more than previously reported from either side. Candidates and employees may not be thinking of it as a cultural concern because its hard to define and distill down, but these differentiators come into play when theyre weighing job offers or another organization tries to lure them away," Samuel Bright, an analyst at Forrester, told eWEEK. Bright argues that people often confuse a job that has great perks with a workplace that has a great culture, when theyre not the same thing. What will happen to the "IT Cowboys" who have always been so indispensable in so many corporate IT departments? Click here to find out. "They look at telecommuting, generous benefit packages or work-life balance, but if you offer perks without the cultural background behind it, people are resented for taking advantage of them," said Bright. Bosses that throw perks at departing employees arent necessarily focusing on the wrong thing, argues Bright, but certainly they are offering the perks for the wrong reasons. "As IT leaders get frustrated managing issues of recruiting and retention, theyre often throwing clay against the wall to see what sticks. But theyre not appealing to their workplace culture. Its more like bribing employees to stay around," said Bright. "Upping perks in name alone or perks that dont fit with the culture may stop the bleeding, but over time theres a real disconnect." Instead, companies should identify the perks that most appeal to the employees who stay as well as study the real reasons departing employees are moving on to other jobs. By identifying the positive and negative aspects of its work environment, a company stands to improve its marketability to new hires while increasing its likelihood of retaining current employees who might be swayed by a better offer. "This is not to discount compensation, but not to overrate it either," said Bright. Check out eWEEK.coms Careers Center for the latest news, analysis and commentary on careers for IT professionals.


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