Pay cut okay to meet career goals

Pay cut okay to meet career goals

Pay cut okay to meet career goals

Competitive pay rates is one of the top suggestions for retaining staff, but most of your employees would be okay with a pay cut if they could meet some of their other career goals.

While compensation is always the top rated factor in deciding whether to change jobs, combined other factors can have a bit impact on an individual’s decision, according to a new survey from Hays Canada.

According to the Hays report What People Want 2013 71% of Canadians would accept a reduction in pay for a new job opportunity that met benefits, career progression and company reputation expectations. Overall, salary had a 45% weighting when it came to making career decisions, but the combination of career progression, benefits and company culture had a rating of 55%.

“The job a person does dominates so much of their day and life and if they’re not satisfied in their job and they think they can find something that will satisfy them it’s probably not surprising that they might take a pay cut,” Hays Canada president Rowan O’Grady told HRM.

The study also found what Hays calls an “ambition contradiction”. While 60% of people aim to reach at least middle management, the same proportion said they would take a step down in status for the right pay, benefits and culture. When the company investigated, they found that individuals consider professional development, such as new challenges, training and education, more important than career status, defined as job title, salary and level of responsibility.

“The most important thing in professional development was new challenges. When people say they want career progression, what they’re really saying is they want new challenges and variation in their job,” O’Grady said. “Variety is the spice of life. Often when talking about wanting progression, what they really mean they want a change.”

He suggested embracing inter-departmental moves, cross-training in different roles and secondments, as retention tools. While an employer may be resistant to moving an employee out of a role where they are competent into one requiring training, it’s likely a better move than losing that worker permanently.

Finally, while health and dental insurance were considered the most important benefit overall, employees were more willing to compromise on those benefits rather than vacation time. Almost two-thirds (60%) of employees would take a reduction in all other categories in exchange for two weeks’ extra vacation time. In comparison, few were concerned about losing flexible work options so employers may be better off reducing flex options and adding a week’s vacation time to get the most from their teams.

Poll: Would you take a pay cut for more vacation?


  • Chris 2013-09-19 7:55:23 AM
    I would accept a shorter work week in lieu of a pay raise. That's a little bit different.

    Employers might be wise to consider offering "cafeteria-style" compensation packages as many have now done with benefits plans. It's rarely a one-size-fits-all equation. For example, a woman who is raising a young family might opt for more flexibility in her work week (e.g. compressed work week) or she might opt for assistance with the cost of upgrading her education so she can better provide for her family in the future.
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