Employees prefer promotions to raises

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Despite the old adage “money talks,” the majority of employees would opt for a promotion without a salary increase over a raise, according to a new survey.

About two-thirds (63%) of 1,200 professionals said they would prefer to get a promotion with no salary increase than a salary increase with no promotion, according to an October study from Korn Ferry.

“Getting recognition is the reason people drive into work,” says Peter Keseric, a managing consultant at Korn Ferry Futurestep, a division of the talent and leadership consulting firm. “People want to feel they’re making a difference when they go to work.”

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In fact, 73% of employees said their principal driver is the belief that their work has purpose and meaning. About one-fifth (21%) of employees said their goal is to emerge as a leader in the workplace.

“We’re moving more into a project-based work environment,” he says. “With a bigger title, you can run and lead more projects.”

More than seven in 10 employees said they expect to stay in a role for three to five years before being promoted, according to the survey.

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“Promotions are happening quicker in the marketplace than they were happening 10 to 15 years ago,” Keseric says. “You have to set the table for your promotion.”

Sixty-one percent of employees surveyed said they did not receive a promotion within 12 months, and 55% of employees don’t expect to receive one in the next year, according to the survey.

Some reasons, such as office politics, lack of qualifications and a company’s unwillingness to offer a higher pay grade with the promotion, can keep employees from rising in the ranks, according to the survey.

See also: Women miss promotions for maternity leave: study

If an employee was passed over for a promotion, 84% of workers said they would identify the reasons and work to improve.

“Most often, that’s having a discussion with their direct manager and making sure those goals are clarified,” Keseric says.

Conversely, if the manager is influenced by office politics, it might be time to search for a new job.

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