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Two in Five Salaried Employees Didn’t Receive Raises Last Year

BambooHR, the industry’s leading cloud-hosted human resource platform where everything works together, released a new study of 1,500 U.S. adults examining worker sentiment around compensation and benefits. The study finds that two in five salaried employees (41%) didn’t receive raises in the past year, up from 33% in 2022. Those who did received a 25% smaller raise, underscoring the economy’s impact on employee pay.  

“While an uncertain job market might be keeping employees at a company, it’s clear that morale is low,” says Anita Grantham, head of HR at BambooHR. “For the second year in a row, our study uncovered that employees feel they aren’t getting paid enough. It’s crucial for employers to understand these trends to focus on next steps to improve employee engagement and overall retention.”  

Although only 21% of salaried workers changed employers in the last year compared to 34% in 2022 (a 38% decrease), 73% of employees admit they would consider leaving their current job for a higher paycheck. It would take a 13.3% increase in pay to tempt an employee away from their current position, down from 16.1% in 2022.  

  • More than a quarter (27%) of women express frustration with their compensation (up from 16% in 2022) compared to 15% of men (up from 11% in 2022).  
  • More than half (58%) of employees are content or happy with their current financial compensation.  
  • Almost half (48%) have thought about leaving their company in the last six months to find better compensation, up from 41% who felt the same way in 2022.  

With transparency laws growing in popularity nationwide, 82% of employees now consider salary transparency essential when evaluating potential employers, up from 69% in 2022. Younger generations are also talking more candidly about pay with peers. Employers need to make clear decisions about pay philosophies and transparency levels – sharing can equally disruptive if leaders aren’t prepared to discuss it clearly.  

Salary transparency means a host of different things to employees.  

  • More than half (59%) of employees believe salary transparency means clearly communicating the complete compensation package to everyone.  
  • Half (50%) view salary transparency as the disclosure of salary ranges for every role within the company.  
  • More than a quarter (32%) of employees believe that true salary transparency involves disclosing the exact salary for each role, not just a salary range, leaving no room for ambiguity or speculation.  

When it comes to salaries, younger generations are more likely to be transparency, and as baby boomers begin to retire, this trend will only become more prevalent in the workplace.  

  • More than three-quarters (76%) of Gen Z employees have disclosed their salary to a coworker, compared to 60% of millennials, 39% of Gen X, and 30% of boomers.  
  • Nearly three-quarters (69%) of employees feel comfortable discussing their salary with an employer, with 52% having already engaged in such conversations.  

While salary remains a key element of total compensation strategy, benefits are a critical component of employee experience. And, when it comes to how benefits are applied to in-person workers versus remote or hybrid workers, the opinions become even more complex.  

  • More than half (56%) of employee report that their employers have introduced new or improved benefits, while 28% say their benefits have been removed or reduced.  
  • Half of employees believe employers who fail to provide essential benefits should compensate their workers more, up from 45% in 2022.  
  • Approximately 32% of respondents believe in-office workers should be paid more than remote or hybrid workers, while only 6% think the opposite. Nearly two-thirds (62%) believe both types of workers should be paid equally for the same work.  
  • Interestingly, there are some gender differences in these opinions: 36% of men think in-office workers should be paid more, compared to 28% of women. On the other hand, 67% of women believe both should be paid equally, compared to 56% of men.  
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