When wage increases are futile – and what to do instead


I have long argued that all employees – regardless of their title, industry, level of education required, or salary the position commands – ALL EMPLOYEES want to do inspiring work and they want to be valued and respected while doing that work.

A recent article from CNN’s Money blog suggests that Perks aren't the answer to employee retention problems. “Perks like free car washes, dry cleaning pickup and a fully-stocked kitchen can help entice new workers to join a company. But they won't necessarily keep them there.”

The solution to improving employee retention can't be cosmetic. It must be fundamental.

One of my recent clients struggles with finding “quality candidates.” While “quality” is hard to define, it has something to do with work ethic and professionalism demonstrated by applicants. In my client's situation, applicants display what any reasonable person would consider to be poor work ethic and a profound lack of professionalism. It's not uncommon for the recruiter or the hiring managers at my client’s company to experience No Call / No Shows: candidates who don’t show up for the interview or, worse yet, don’t show up for the first day of work. Yikes!

Understandably, the business owner is frustrated. The answer, he is certain, is to increase the starting wage. His rationale is that these people don’t take his job