Why 2018 could be the year underpaid employees have had enough

Employees who do not get raises may be more likely to leave for greener pastures.

One in three (35%) hiring decision makers expect more employees to quit over the next 12 months, a report from job-finder site Glassdoor found. And the biggest reason? Increased salary offers from rival firms. Nearly half (45%) say salary is the top reason for employees changing jobs, followed by career advancement opportunities, benefits, and location.

While most employees (64%) believe their organization is either satisfactory or very satisfactory at clearly setting pay and benefit expectations within job postings, 37% of hiring managers surveyed say retention rates would increase significantly if new hires were better informed during the hiring process.

Employees leaving jobs for more money may be more common because unemployment is currently the lowest it’s been since 2000, Brianna McGurran, student finance and careers expert at personal-finance site Nerdwallet said. “Workers might be considering leaving their jobs because, thanks to a stellar job market, they’ll probably get a better one,” she said.

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Despite the robust job market, there has been little wage growth, frustrating some professionals. In President Donald Trump’s first year in office, for example, Wall Street bonuses jumped 10% while employee wages remained stagnant. The Trump administration has said that tax reform will ease the burden on companies and those benefits will trickle down to workers in the form of higher wages.

Employees who want more than the standard 3% annual increase in salary may be better off moving to a new role at a new company than trying to climb the ladder in their current job, McGurran said. But it doesn’t hurt to ask. To do it, an employee should take stock of their contributions to the team and organization and find out their market value with tools like LinkedIn Salary, PayScale and Glassdoor’s Know Your Worth estimator.

“Keep in mind that raises are generally between 2% and 8% more than you’re currently making,” she said. “Prepare a script connecting your highest-value skills and successes to your request, and remind your boss how committed you are to sticking around and continuing to contribute.”

Pay raises for U.S. employees are not expected to improve next year, according to a 2017 survey by global professional services company Aon, based on a survey of over 1,000 companies. Base pay is expected to rise 3% in 2018, up slightly from 2.9% in 2017.

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