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The Real Reason Your Employer Should Pay You More

Has a case of the Mondays ever turned into a case of the Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays? Or have you ever gotten to the end of a week and realized that the majority of your goals weren't met? That you didn't feel all that accomplished — more like you sort-of floated through the week? You're not alone, and the best answer probably isn't in quitting your job.

Has a case of the Mondays ever turned into a case of the Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays? Or have you ever gotten to the end of a week and realized that the majority of your goals weren’t met? That you didn’t feel all that accomplished — more like you sort-of floated through the week? You’re not alone, and the best answer probably isn’t in quitting your job.

Man in tie eating powdered jelly donut with glob of jelly on his tie

(Photo Credit: Ryan McGuire/Gratisography)

Most of us aren’t that engaged at work, as it turns out. Even a few years ago, we were wasting tens of billions in wasted meetings and unnecessary distractions at work. Today, some survey takers admit to wasting up to half the day on non-work-related distractions.

Do You Know What You're Worth?

If that’s you, you may just be a bad employee — and admitting that is the first step. For the rest of us, those that are wasting a paltry 30 minutes or so, who feel generally disengaged, the solution may seem a lot more superficial: you’re underpaid.

Let’s Get Engaged

This is a major shift from the sentiments of yesteryear, when boomers could pride in barely having two nickels to rub together but still work their way up to a leadership role. Today’s reality is that while the economy has made strides toward recovery, wage growth over the last generation has taken a prolonged coffee break.

As this article implores bosses, employee engagement may directly be related to how much the company is investing in them — higher salaries tend to be a good marker for a healthy employee-employer relationship. For the naysayers, let’s look at a few companies who are doing that well, and if it does seem to promote a sense of engagement and satisfaction after all:

Costco Wholesale – Kirkland Signature Cashier: $37,175 ea.

Based on Payscale salary data, Costco cashier salaries are capping off about $13,000 more annually than either Walmart or Kroger. And if you look below that statistic, there are couple of happy faces representing employee satisfaction.

While it may seem insignificant, it’s hard to ignore that the jump from 4 to 5 is likely due in large part to the increased salary and benefits that Costco employees hold over the competition.

In-N-Out Burger – “I’ll Have The #2 With a Side of Extra Wages”

When you look at a titan of “burger” production like McDonald’s and see that most employees are hanging around $8.30/hour, you don’t wonder why most folks there look like they hate their job. According to our data, actually, they’re merely “satisfied” and find work to be highly stressful. No doubt: it’s busy, it’s greasy, and hungry customers are barking orders at them, eight hours a day, every day.

But you wonder how a company like that can be paying such stagnant wages when the good people over at In-N-Out burger are paying their employees substantially more — base pay starts at $10/hour and quickly goes up — and they seem so much happier.

You should never base your job squarely on money, and these are two very brief examples based on service industry jobs. But the takeaway is that pay is important at every level — and it doesn’t take a whole lot to make that jump for your employees. When the CEO’s salary is a few hundred times larger than the average employee’s, it’s possible that a little redistribution won’t leave your company looking like Soviet Russia.

Tell Us What You Think!

Does your boss pay you more than the industry average? Do you think this author has an unhealthy fixation on making more money? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment below or join the conversation on Twitter

Peter Swanson
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12 Comments on "The Real Reason Your Employer Should Pay You More"

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I usually don’t write comments, but socioeconomic disadvantages is a concerning passion of mine. This article really spoke to me. We as a society need to support the middle class. They are the ones that support the economy. The rich are not spending their money, they are saving it and investing in portfolios which comes back to them. Also their tax brackets is around at most 15%, while the rest us is paying 30% or more. This is complete ludicrous! I could go on, but I’ll stop here 🙂 Everyone have a great and prosperous day!

Hi here in south africa things are different retail industry make a lot of money per day but they pay pathetic salaries,especially big retailers like foschini group,spar,shoprite,truworths and find that most cashier who are permanent they get paid between 2500 and 3600 per month,then there will be cashiers who are working part time 108 hour they get paid R2000 per month,then some work few hour a week paid according to their hour,Some get R129/200/330/250 per week that’s heartbreaking.there are no incentives at all some work under labour brokers,even 13th pay cheque is something that is dream to most retail… Read more »
All this talk about how we, “rich” countries have to help developing countries to prosper make me sick. Because at the heart of it is not a desire to help a fellow human being to feed his/her family, but corporate greed that rely on public sentiment to make it even easier to take jobs abroad, or to bring people on working visas: people who are ready to accept much lower salaries than those of us with sky-high mortgages and with families that have to pay $5 per kilo of apples. Nothing is for free in this world. You want to… Read more »
Corporate America needs to value all the people in the company, not just the executives. For a strong economy, all corp employees need well paid jobs. No jobs in America are well paid currently because most people have received little to no increase over the past 8 + years. Why? Because of the recession. In fact 13% of the people who were laid off, are still laid off or not working. How does the economy recover without people with disposable income to spend? It doesn’t. It’s that simple. Making money and putting it into the economy does nothing if people… Read more »
Tom L
The not getting paid what you are worth started about 30 years ago when corporate America started moving the jobs overseas At that time America became a service industry that corporate America created by getting rid of better jobs with pennies on the dollar. Not only did they ship the jobs overseas but they also started the downsize or at least that’s what they call it. The downsize was not really a business downsize by eliminating job positions but in reality they we’re and still are downsizing there payroll by getting rid of higher paid employees then refilling the old… Read more »
Loyalty has to work both ways. I worked for a very prestigious company that required many hours and absolute loyalty and got it from employees for many years, but when the economy slowed, it was the long-time employees (not top corporate bosses that made the millions) that were laid off without notice. Losing their jobs meant lost homes, benefits and all the other things they counted on for retirement. Many lost the retirement as it had to be used to pay ongoing bills they could not pay without jobs and lack of job was not their fault. When the layoffs… Read more »
nilda cruikshank

Nice to learn !!


I acknowledge the knowledge of most employers that they need an employees that give his full loyalty to the company. But employers must test the ability of individuals that must be hired and give incentives, and full benefits to those qualify so that the person to be hired will give the best of his ability because he don’t want to lose the job.


I work for myself and I choose MY employers/clients with care. I let anyone know how much I charge up front in my ads on Craigslist so the tightwads weed themselves out before they even contact me. If the employers try to nickel and dime me I make my excuses and walk away-but I always let them know why it won’t work out. I don’t need them- there are a ton of clients who WILL appreciate me. Don’t sell yourself cheap- if you don’t know your worth – why should the employers?


Merely it is a cut and dry deal, an individual meets all requirements and goes above and beyond giving that 110% that has profit raising along with the initiative to work with out supervision. Integrity to manage ones time efficiently for a team progress. That deserves compensation on a gratuitous level. The markets is not failing enough for corporate America to have such withdrawals on spreading the economic freedom.

Fernando Florian

I agree with MilitaryAF 100%. I know a company is doing just that and, its turnover ratio is going through the roof!
So, as MilitaryAF says: “nichke & diming employees through low pay…might look good on the corporate balance-sheet…” but, in the long run, it is costing the company millions of dollars in lost talent and experience, hiring, training and, a total lack of employee loyalty!

What employers need to get back to is the re-understanding of what was known prior to the 70’s: If you take care of your people (employees), your people will take care of your company. That simple leadership premise was responsible for the U.S. becoming the largest economy in the world and explosion of the middle-class. Today’s corporate approach of nickel & diming employees through low pay, poor benefits, etc. might look good on the corporate balance-sheet, but they’re not seeing the intangible losses this approach causes. If corporations began investing in their employees once again, they would find their revenues… Read more »
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