Despite Being Unhappy with their Pay, Nearly 8 in 10 find Great Satisfaction with the People they Work With, According to Monster’s Global Wage Index Report


Monster in conjunction with the WageIndicator Foundation, has released data regarding how satisfied employees in the United States and Europe are with their wages. This is the second in a series of releases examining wages across global and U.S. regions, industry sectors and other comparative factors.

According to the survey data, U.S. wages in small firms (<10 employees) are typically just about $14 per hour, while U.S. wages in larger firms (5,000+ employees) are double that of a small firm, $30 an hour. However, while employees at larger companies in the U.S. might be raking in higher wages, employees across the board are still relatively dissatisfied with how much they make. In the U.S., more than 65% of employees are not satisfied with their pay. Despite the unhappiness with wages, the majority of employees in the U.S. (77.6%) are relatively satisfied with the work relationships they have with their colleagues, showing interpersonal interaction may trump wages.

Interestingly, when comparing the U.S., UK, Germany, and Spain, the study revealed that Germany finds the greatest satisfaction across both of these categories despite the study noting that Germany boasts wages that are rather similar to those in the U.S. Over half (56.4%) of German respondents are satisfied with their pay and more than 8 out of 10 respondents (81.4%) are satisfied with their working relationships with colleagues.

“Today we see a rapidly shifting, dynamic labor market, with pockets of tight demand and others of tight supply. This has made keeping current employees a priority for many employers, so while making room in budgets for pay increases isn’t always an option, there are other things that employers can do to keep employees happy and motivated to work hard,” said Joanie Courtney, Senior Vice President, Market Development at Monster. “Fostering a collaborative and comfortable work environment and encouraging office activities is a great way to keep morale high in the office. In addition, rewarding employees with an extra vacation day when they’re doing great work is another way to show appreciation.”

“The survey indicates that in the U.S., workers are significantly more satisfied with their work relationships with colleagues than with their wages,” said Martin Kahanec, Visiting Research Fellow at Harvard University’s Labor and Worklife Program and scientific director at Central European Labour Studies Institute. “This demonstrates that there are other factors besides wages that motivate U.S. employees to work hard and remain loyal to their colleagues and company.”

The survey data clearly shows that the pain point for employees in most countries is pay, but there are things that employers can be doing to continue to motivate and retain talent.

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