Four in 10 Gen Y employees will walk if they don’t get a pay raise

21 December 2015

Survey reveals how different generations respond when they are refused a pay rise

It is one of the trickiest and most delicate conversations that can take place between an employee and an employer – when one asks for more pay only to be refused.

A new survey by specialist recruitment firm Robert Half reveals how each generation will respond to this rejection.  Five hundred Singapore employees participated in the survey.

In a warning for employers in Singapore, the most common response of Gen Y employees who are refused a pay raise is to start looking for another job.

The survey found nearly four in ten (37 per cent) respondents aged between 18 and 34 will walk if they don’t get the boost in pay they want.

In contrast the most common response of Gen X was to wait for the next performance review and to ask for a pay rise again.  This was the preferred approach of 32 per cent of respondents aged between 35 and 55.

Baby Boomers – those aged over 55 years of age - also preferred to wait with 42 per cent saying they will ask again at the time of their next performance review.

Only six per cent of Gen Y employees said they would take no action, compared to eight per cent of Gen X employees and 10 per cent of baby boomers.

The good news for employers is that Singapore employees are not whingers – only four per cent will respond by complaining about their boss’s decision to colleagues, friends or their spouse.

Table 1: If you asked for a salary increase at your current employer but did not receive one, what would be your next move?      

 

Total

18-34

35-55

Over 55

Wait for next performance review to ask again for a salary increase

35%

31%

32%

41%

Look for a new job

29%

37%

28%

23%

Ask for something else (like more perks, training options, different role at current firm that pays more etc.)

22%

21%

26%

18%

Complain to someone other than my boss (co-worker, friend, spouse etc.)

4%

4%

4%

5%

Other

3%

1%

3%

4%

Do nothing

8%

6%

8%

10%

 

Ms Stella Tang, Managing Director of Robert Half Singapore said the survey shows the different priorities of each generation.

“Generation Y is ambitious and wants to keep their careers moving forward.  This means getting better remuneration as their responsibilities increase.  Generation Y knows they have time on their side and can look for employment elsewhere if they feel their talents are not being recognised.”

“Generation X has the most options available to them when a pay rise is refused. They are likely to be more senior and can command either additional perks or a transfer to another higher paying role within the company. They are also able to take their experience to another employer if they feel they are undervalued.”

“Baby Boomers are the most stable and least likely to jump ship to another employer. Many will be thinking about retirement or moving into a mentoring role within their company. They have also spent more time in the workforce and have had the chance to accumulate greater assets and wealth, so getting a pay raise may not be their top priority. That’s why they are more patient and willing to wait until the next round of performance reviews,” Ms Tang said.

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