Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Pay satisfaction key driver of work-family conflict

Date:
October 30, 2012
Source:
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Summary:
Employees who are more satisfied with their pay report lower levels of work-family conflict, a study by a labor and employment relations professor shows.

Employees who are more satisfied with their pay report lower levels of work-family conflict, a study by a University of Illinois labor and employment relations professor shows.

A worker's actual salary is as important as pay satisfaction in determining a worker's happiness, according to the research by professor Amit Kramer.

"Pay, as you might expect, is a relative thing," Kramer said. "I think most people would agree that a certain level of pay that allows you to meet your needs is critical. However, beyond that level, relative pay becomes an issue and with it, perception of pay or pay satisfaction."

Kramer, who co-wrote the study with Devasheesh P. Bhave, of Concordia University, and Theresa M. Glomb, of the University of Minnesota, says once workers achieve this "sufficient" level of pay, they shift their reference point from what their actual pay allows them to do, to other social reference points such as how much their peers are paid.

"It becomes 'my pay' compared to others; 'my pay' compared to the effort I invest; 'my pay' compared to the things I give up and miss in life for the opportunity cost of working," he said. "Organizations believe that actual pay is the No. 1 incentive for employees. While this may be true for some employees, for others the social aspects of pay and the things they perceive to be sacrificing for pay are stronger or act as additional incentives and disincentives."

The effect of a pay raise on pay satisfaction only has a moderate relationship, Kramer says.

"I'm not sure that the effect of a pay raise lasts very long," he said. "It might have a short-term effect on pay satisfaction, but individuals are likely to regress to their initial pay satisfaction level over time. As an example, when employees change jobs, they re-evaluate their pay and are more likely to change their pay satisfaction, not necessarily because they get a raise, but because of the social aspect of pay. And the way individuals evaluate their pay is by comparing their pay relative to their co-workers' pay, relative to the effort they put in, and relative to what they sacrifice in order to work."

According to the study, even highly compensated employees report high work-family conflict because they, too, can perceive pay inequity among colleagues. So what can employers do -- if anything -- to increase pay satisfaction among employees?

A lot, Kramer says.

"If employees perceive work as a sacrifice they have to make, then the work environment itself is not ideal," he said. "If employers can understand the trade-offs employees perceive to be doing -- sacrificing family for work, for example -- then they can offer different work arrangements and policies that compensate for that. Flexible work arrangements, paid vacation days and compressed workweeks would be good examples of this. It also might be ideal to tailor policies and benefits based on different needs of employees, since each employee will perceive that they are making different trade-offs."

The only downside to such benefits is that they're expensive, and they usually can't be offered to all employees, Kramer says.

"Firms will usually only offer these type of working arrangements to workers who are expensive to recruit, retain and replace -- the high-performing, star employees," he said.

With Americans among the world leaders in hours worked and worker productivity, Kramer says the research speaks to the need for more family- and life-friendly policies in the workplace.

"In a time when the boundaries between work, life and family are so blurred with the increased use of technology that allows many employees to work everywhere, anytime, I think employers should consider offering flexible work arrangements to employees who can perform their work off-site and off-schedule," he said. "That type of a flexible policy that would allow all employees -- not just those with families -- to better balance work, family and life demands as they see fit."

Family demands can come from many different sources, all of which require different kinds of flexibility, Kramer says.

"Young children demand more emergency-type flexibility -- for example, leaving work on short notice to pickup a sick child from day care, or staying home with a sick child," he said. "Older children require more 'planned' flexibility -- for example, a week of college visits -- while elder parents, like young children, need more short-notice, emergency-type flexibility."

The study will be published in the Journal of Organizational Behavior.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Devasheesh P. Bhave, Amit Kramer, Theresa M. Glomb. Pay satisfaction and work-family conflict across time. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 2012; DOI: 10.1002/job.1832

Cite This Page:

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. "Pay satisfaction key driver of work-family conflict." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 October 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121030143142.htm>.
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. (2012, October 30). Pay satisfaction key driver of work-family conflict. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121030143142.htm
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. "Pay satisfaction key driver of work-family conflict." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121030143142.htm (accessed April 25, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Friday, April 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Companies Ramp Up Wellness to Lower Health Costs

Companies Ramp Up Wellness to Lower Health Costs

AP (Apr. 24, 2014) That little voice telling you to exercise, get in shape and get healthy is probably coming from your boss. More companies are beefing up wellness programs to try and cut down their health care costs. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Will New FCC Rules Trigger Death Of Net Neutrality?

Will New FCC Rules Trigger Death Of Net Neutrality?

Newsy (Apr. 24, 2014) The Federal Communications Commission will reportedly propose new rules for Net neutrality that could undermine the principles of a free and open Web. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Wants To Ban Sales Of E-Cigarettes To Minors

FDA Wants To Ban Sales Of E-Cigarettes To Minors

Newsy (Apr. 24, 2014) The Food and Drug Administration wants to crack down on the use of e-cigarettes, banning the sale of the product to minors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Obama Plays Soccer With Japanese Robot

Raw: Obama Plays Soccer With Japanese Robot

AP (Apr. 24, 2014) President Obama briefly played soccer with a robot during his visit to Japan on Thursday. The President has been emphasizing technology along with security concerns during his visit. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins