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  • Writer's picturelindsayannkohler

Growing Pay Dissatisfaction Must Be A Priority For Companies

This originally appeared on June 6, 2024 in Forbes.

55% of people worldwide say pay tops the list of priorities for the fourth year running — and 40% of those are dissatisfied with their salary, according to ADP Research Institute's People at Work 2024 report. This focus on pay should be a wake-up call for employers who may have underestimated the financial pressures facing their workforce. That pressure is a combination of falling wages and inflation — the annual inflation rate in the U.S. was 3.4% in April of this year.

Competitive pay is a crucial rung on the ladder of motivation. Part of what's driving the compensation dissatisfaction is the gap between the raise people expected to receive, and what they actually got. The same ADP research reports that the average pay increase in America in 2023 was 4%. Yet people expected a pay increase of 7%. Another part of the dissatisfaction is that money isn't going as far as the cost of living rises — which can feel like a pay cut.

When people feel fairly compensated for their skills and contributions, they are likelier to be engaged, productive, and committed to their work. Conversely, underpaid workers often experience demotivation and will likely look for opportunities elsewhere.

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