More responsibility, not more money

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Three-quarters of UK employees promoted in the past five years feel that taking on more responsibilities is more important than securing a pay rise, according to new research.

The survey of 3,700 people by recruitment firm Reed makes it clear that employers who believe that offering more money is the answer to their retention problems are sadly deluded.

Directors are the least likely to see a pay rise as their top priority for promotion – fewer than one in ten said it was a priority for them – compared to almost one in five professional staff who said that getting more money was important.

And despite all the talk of work-life balance, a mere one per cent said that being able to work fewer hours was their top consideration.

Employees in the manufacturing industry were least likely to put a pay rise at the top of their list of priorities, while those working in distribution were most keen on taking on more responsibility.

More than a third of employers with retention difficulties used opportunities for promotion as a means to retain staff in 2003, a small rise on 2002. At the same time the number offering pay rises to hold onto staff fell almost ten per cent.

Last year, a report by recruitment firm Charles Fellowes found that offering employees who resign more money in an attempt to retain them can prove to be an expensive mistake.

Three-quarters of employees who agree to stay when offered more money leave again within 12 months, they found.

Dan Ferrandino, managing director of Reed, said that people seem to be shifting their emphasis away from gaining the best work/life balance towards gaining a fuller life through work.

"The idea that people only want more money from a promotion is no longer valid. Increased responsibilities now seem to be the main desire when seeking a promotion.

"While people probably still expect a pay rise when they gain promotion, now they want much more.

"Employers who want to retain valuable staff need to continually offer more challenges rather than just extra cash,” he said.

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