Employer Branding

Why Happy Employees Earn Higher Salaries

Have you ever negotiated your salary? Or do you struggle to feel comfortable demanding more?

PayScale have released a salary negotiation guide, a combination of the best pieces of salary negotiation advice and a survey that features over 31,000 US individuals feedback. The guide also includes more than 15 articles, featuring in-depth analysis from PayScale experts. The PayScale Salary Survey was created to discover the amount of US workers that had ever negotiated their salary, if they were ever successful, and if they hadn’t, what held them back. 

For example, the guide breaks up into three simple stages the correct way of approaching a salary negotiation: Research, strategise and negotiate. Each stage features articles from PayScale experts, each offering some useful tips for getting the paycheck you’re entitled to.

From the study, here are the main takeaways summarised:

Asking for a raise:

43% of survey respondents have ever asked for a raise in their current field. For the 57% who have not asked, the reasons most often cited are:

  • “My employer gave me a raise before I needed to ask for one” (38%)
  • “I’m uncomfortable negotiating salary” (28%)
  • “I didn’t want to be perceived as pushy” (19%)

The study also discovered that while only 25% of those earning $10K-$20K received the raise they requested, 70% of those earning more than $150K received their requested raise. This confirms that the higher your annual salary, the more likely you are to have asked for a raise, and you’re more likely to receive it.

Gender split:

The study also revealed that women are more likely than men to state that they are uncomfortable negotiating salary – 31% vs. 23% – even among C-level executives where 26% of female Chief Executives said they’re uncomfortable negotiating compared to 14% of male Chief Executives.

Women with an MBA degree appear to be struggling the most with potential gender bias on negotiating their salary. Just 48% of female MBA graduates that requested a raise received it compared to 63% of male MBA graduates. 21% of female MBA grads received no raise at all after requesting one, compared to just 10% of male MBA grads.

Generation gap:

According to the study, generations for the most part handle salary negotiating differently. The study says that Generation Y (born between 1977-1994) is far more likely to be uncomfortable negotiating a salary and is less likely to ask for a raise.

Baby Boomers, however, (born between 1946 and 1964) are more likely to say they didn’t negotiate for fear of losing their job, which could indicate a concern over age bias in the workplace.

What generation are you part of? And do you agree with this data?

Location, location, location:

As this was a US-based study, data was also accumulated geographically to determine which states asks more for a raise. Alaska had the highest percentage of respondents who said they had asked for a raise (53 percent), followed by Rhode Island (51 percent) and then Oregon and West Virginia (both at 48 percent). The states with the lowest percentages of raise seekers were South Dakota (31 percent), Arkansas (34 percent) and Nebraska and Nevada (both at 37 percent).

(I can’t get no) satisfaction:

Unsurprisingly workers with low job satisfaction are more likely to ask for a raise (54%) than those with high job satisfaction (41%). However, just 19% of people with low job satisfaction receive the amount they asked for. 44% of workers with a high job satisfaction receive the amount they request.

So why are happier employees more likely to receive a raise? Well, studies have shown that happy people miss fewer work days, they are also less likely to lose their jobs and happier people are also more likely to be offered a second interview when job seeking. It appears positivity is an attractive trait in the workplace!

What do you think about these study results? How do you feel negotiating your salary? Let us know in the comments!

By Robbie Palmer