Employees with Tenure: Finally Validation for Jumping Ship

Until just this week I thought perhaps it was only retail and perhaps only the company I worked for that practiced unfair compensation habits for their employees and managers with long tenure.  Out of 13 stores that I oversaw as a district manager at least half of my managers had been managers for nearly a decade, which in retail is a lifetime.  That means these mangers were my predecessors, and sadly they made a significant amount less than I had as a store manager.

Like most companies we offered an annual employee evaluation every January.  And based on the results you could offer a raise from 3-5%.  If a higher percentage was offered to Manager “A” then I would have to deduct a similar amount from Manager “B”‘s raise amount.  Sadly this small percentage of annual wage increases has not exactly kept up with the inflation rates that have occurred around us over the past several years with the raise in gas prices and the cost of other necessities.  So while Manager “B” who is dedicated to the mission of the company, but maybe had a rough year or two in sales due to their region and  are manager of a medium traffic level shop, may actually be compensated 17% less annually than the newly hired manager who is working a store at an extremely lower level of traffic and earnings.

Doing this with new hires made me sick for my dedicated managers that had been with the company for years.  When I did confront the CEO about my concerns in the pay differences he explained that it would be too expensive to raise everyone’s pay.

 “We have competitive pay rates.”

He loved to say that, but that only applied to the employees that had been hired that year.

Companies offer higher pay to new hires to keep up with the rate being offered by similar employers.  When I took over my first store it was a medium level traffic store, and through hard work, dedication, and a great sales team we managed to make it a high level store within my first couple of months of management. Imagine my surprise when I moved to a new store, and they offered my assistant a much higher wage than I had been or was presently paid.  I was now running a low level store, and overseeing the day to day procedures and earnings of three other surrounding locations.

So should we be surprised that dedicated employees with great tenacity and tenure are jumping ship for the higher dollar amount?  After reading this article by Fortune magazine this week on the reason employees jump ship I was surprised to find that this was happening outside the disorganization of the company I represented.  Perhaps now the recession has lifted and retailers are raising their bottom line it is the right time.

Want to keep your dedicated employees?

1.  Remind your employees individually how utterly important they are to you and the company to aid in job security.

2.  Show active interest in the long term and short term goals of your employees to keep them motivated to continue with you.

3.  Re-evaluate all employees’ pay so that their efforts are fairly compensated.

Thinking it’s time to Jump Ship?

Take a moment to acknowledge all the work and time you have built into the company, remember starting from scratch although better paying will not always come with the respect that you receive from your years of experience with your current employer.

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