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Show Me The Money? Actually, Employee Engagement Is Not About The Money

  • Show Me The Money? Actually, Employee Engagement Is Not About The Money

Only 12% of employees leave their jobs for more money, but the other 88% of departing employees do so because they are no longer motivated. Your cost account can breathe a sigh of relief to learn what all employers should know: To improve employee retention rates, it's rarely a question of offering more money. And if or when it is, the employee usually leaves soon afterwards anyway.

You may have had the experience — at either side of the table — of being offered more money to stay, when you decided to leave and go somewhere else. The other side of the table would be, you offered a departing employee more money to change his or her mind.

Being an employee — if you wish to excel — takes a huge commitment. (Actually, even if you're a slouch at work, your job takes a huge slice of your time). You will probably spend forty hours every week in your physical place of work, another five hours or more travelling to and from work, another ten hours during the work week either preparing for work or unwinding afterwards. That's not counting the time you spent tossing and turning at night, worrying about some project or product deadline, the time you spend in the company cafeteria, and any off-site time and money you spend improving your chances of career success, such as studying for an MBA.

Your job is a big part of your life. Even when you regard your family as more important, you may spend a lot more time with your colleagues than you do with your spouse. Yes, your job looms large in your life. So, it's no surprise to learn that remuneration alone cannot be the biggest driver in where you want to work.

There is the odd occasion where someone might move jobs for money reasons. If you were a fully engaged employee at NASA, you might be struggling with the typically low salary level offered by a government agency, and might move to a corporation that offered to double your salary. Perhaps you have a third baby on the way and future college fees to think about, and so, you do make that move for money simply because you have to. It's a big risk, to change jobs just for money reasons alone, but there is that occasional situation where it makes sense.

The other 88% of the time, however, it's not a question of money. It's a question of engagement. More specifically, it's about the boss.
 

Tom McQueen is PDP's automotive industry expert and has consulted with over 400 dealerships on performance improvement and employee engagement.