You’ll spend one-third of your life on-the-job, so don’t you deserve a paycheck commensurate with that time you put in? Absolutely not. In today’s economy, you earn what you’re worth … to your employer.
The conventional wisdom is that the shrinking middle class standard of living in this country is the fault of greedy employers. And sadly, there are certainly plenty of examples to back up that view. But, here’s the rest of the story that’s gone largely unreported. There are also plenty of other employers that are paying their employees fairly.
Here are the facts. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, the number of employers paying hiring and retention bonuses went up during the last recession, not down as you would expect. Similarly, the number of organizations paying above market salaries to attract and then hang onto workers also went up. And, both of those trends continue to this day.
Why are these companies coming across with the cash? Not because of union pressure or government intervention. No, they’ve simply made a business calculation. They think paying workers what they’re worth is a smart investment, one that will pay off for them at the bottom line.
They’re betting that their workers will deliver better quality, better innovation and better productivity than the workers employed by the competition. To put it another way, they believe they’re paying for talent, because talent gives them a sustainable competitive advantage. No less important, they also believe that talent is hard to find and even harder to keep.
So, if you want to cash in with those employers that pay workers for their talent, you have to position yourself as a “person of talent.” That’s not someone who simply shows up every day on time. Nor is it even a person who works hard. A person of talent is, instead, an individual who excels at their work and makes an extraordinary contribution on-the-job.
We all can do that. Talent is a universal human attribute, but it’s also in very short supply in the workplace. Every one of us has the capacity for excellence, but only a few of us are bringing it to work each day. And, they’re the ones who are being paid at the top of the scale.
Thanks for reading,