Workers Will Stay – For Pay

March 22, 2001 ( - Forget about stock options. If you want to keep employees, "Show them the money," according to a new survey.

Employee retention is more likely to be influenced by salary increases than by improved benefits, flexible work schedules or stock options, according to the third annual BridgeGate Report.  Slightly more than half said “a raise” would most influence them to stay with their current employer, up from 46% in the prior year’s survey.

For the first time in its three year history, the survey found that significantly more respondents would stick around for higher pay than the other non-monetary offerings (benefits, flexibility, stock options and training) combined.

Never miss a story — sign up for PLANSPONSOR newsletters to keep up on the latest retirement plan benefits news.

No Idea

On the other hand, 1 in 7 respondents could not name any specific employer action that could ensure their loyalty.  Two years ago only 1 in 16 were so unsure.

Not surprisingly given the state of the stock market, options are a much lower priority than in the past, cited by just 7% of employees as their top incentive, down from 12% a year ago.

The survey also noted a small decrease in the number of workers who placed improved benefits at the top of their list, while flexible work schedules rose slightly – 14% this year, up from 12% in the prior year’s report.

Female employees were:

  • more interested in flexible work schedules than males (17% vs. 11%)
  • more likely to respond positively to “a raise” (52% vs. 48%)
  • somewhat less likely to cite improved benefits (14% vs. 18%)

Second Choices

In every age group but those over age 55, roughly 50% placed the highest value on increased pay.

The youngest workers, those between 18 and 24, valued flexible work schedules as their second priority, cited by 23%.

Among those 35-to-44, improved benefits (23.5%) received the second highest response.

The BridgeGate survey 2001 of 682 Americans was conducted in February 2001.