A new survey suggests that most people don’t believe they’re being paid what they think ‘they are worth’ to do their current jobs.

New research carried out by HR software provider CIPHR suggests less than half (41 per cent) of workers consider their salary to adequately reflect their job role and experience.

A larger number (44 per cent) believe they are being paid less than they should be while one in six (15 per cent) can’t decide between the two.

A correlation was noted between the number of people who don’t think their current salary reflects their worth and the last time people received a pay rise.

Those that have waited over a year for a salary increase were shown to be much more likely (67 per cent) to be dissatisfied with their earnings.

Conversely, the majority (60 per cent) of those who received a pay rise within the last six months think the opposite.

In terms of roles and how this connected to salary, people occupying senior management positions were most likely to feel adequately paid (64 per cent) yet non-management staff were most likely to feel underpaid.

The study also sought to understand what factors influence an employee’s decision to ask for a pay rise.

Notably, women and workers at smaller companies were less likely to request a pay rise compared to their counterparts.

In addition, the majority (63 per cent) of survey respondents that say they haven’t requested a pay rise in over a year haven’t got one in over a year. 

Claire Williams, director of people and services at CIPHR, encouraged employers to look at their offerings as a whole in order to retain staff:

There’s no denying that people’s perception of their own value in the workplace is closely linked to the financial package they receive. This has obvious implications for employers. Workers that feel undervalued or underpaid can have a negative impact on productivity, employee engagement, job satisfaction, morale and so much more.

However, while salary is a key driver for many employees, there is a huge amount of research that suggests salary isn’t one of the top motivators to leave an organisation.

Most people leave due to career and development opportunities, management behaviour, and work-life balance. Employers need to ensure that they take a wholistic approach when considering how best to retain and reward their top talent. Pay rises and market-value salary are important but they are only part of a wider set of retention methods to ensure employees feel valued and happy.


*CIPHR surveyed 1,005 adults in the UK in order to obtain these results.