Good People Edge Out Good Pay as Top Way to Retain Top Talent


Good People Edges Good Pay in Survey of Top Employee Retention Factors

As a small business owner, paying big salaries to retain talent may not always be an option for you. Luckily, it’s not the only means by which you can ensure high performers stick around for longer.

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Surprise in Survey of Top Employee Retention Factors

A new survey by human resources software company Ceridian reveals good relationships with colleagues are the reason 49 percent of high performers stay in their current position. In comparison, good salary is the primary motivation for just 48 percent of these top performers not to move on.

Good Colleagues Are a Motivation to Stay

It’s not just the high performers who count good relations with colleagues as their primary reason to look elsewhere for work. A majority of all respondents — 47 percent — say they stick around for this reason too.



Surprisingly, relationships with colleagues are a motivation for both those happy with their salaries and those who are not. For example, 57 percent of respondents happy with their compensation list good relationships with colleagues as an additional reason to stick around. And even 51 percent of those who aren’t happy with their pay give good relationships as the reason  they aren’t looking elsewhere for work.

Why Businesses Should Foster Good Working Relationships

In a small business where teams need to work more closely, the importance of good working relationships cannot be stressed enough.

Relationships with managers are equally important. In the Ceridian study, 42 percent of respondents who are not happy with their salaries said good relationships with managers is a factor for sticking with their jobs.

To build good working relationships, it is essential to foster an open work environment. Brainstorming sessions, networking opportunities and open forums can play a big role in making employees feel valued and happy.

A small organization must also focus on training managers to reach out to their team members in a more positive way. Anonymous surveys to see how employees feel about their managers and team can produce some interesting and useful insights. Based on the insights, organizations must take necessary steps to boost teamwork.

Happy Workers Photo via Shutterstock

5 Comments ▼

Shubhomita Bose


Shubhomita Bose Shubhomita Bose is a Staff Writer for Small Business Trends. She covers key studies and surveys about the small business market, along with general small business news. She draws on 8 years of experience in copywriting, marketing and communications, having worked extensively on creating content for small and medium sized enterprises.

5 Reactions

  1. I’m surprised it’s that close. Working with good people is a far greater incentive to me than the pay, but I guess money talks.

  2. Aira Bongco

    It starts with pay but people have different reasons on why they stay on their jobs. So that should also be considered as well. It may be better to just talk to your top talents.

  3. This is something that must be discussed among employees for people have different reasons for staying at a job. You can also do a mini experiment to see what matters most to your employees.

  4. Employee retention is getting harder and harder. Millennials are free spirits that have no trouble leaving a company for something better.

  5. Yes I agree with all the comments here. People like me would prefer better working relations over money. So yes as mentioned here, it would be a major point on employee retention

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