As hopes for inflation-busting payrises and bonuses are dashed yet again by a report published today - it emerges that UK directors are worried about hanging onto key staff.
The talent pool is only so big, and high performers are big targets for rival firms - who will often do their utmost to tempt them into their clutches.
So with the prospect of no payrise, and no bonus, how exactly does someone hang onto a valued member of staff?
It is a tricky problem to be faced with.
Of course at the moment with the economy the way it is, we all consider ourselves lucky to be in employment, so that offers some breathing space at least. But only to a point.
I hear of some amazing workplaces through my day to day conversations - where staff genuinely enjoy work and seem to have a great time. They are treated to fun events by their company and rewarded handsomely for success.
Saying thank you and well done goes a long way and making staff feel appreciated for their work is extremely important. And giving someone more responsibility is another way of making them feel valued.
But at the end of the day, when someone is of a certain level, it does boil down to money.
Being nice doesn't help to pay the bills, and let's face it, bills are hardly going down these days. The cost of getting to work is going through the roof before living expenses are taken into account.
It is a problem every company in every sector will face - budgets are tight so there is no room for payrises, yet if staff are not renumerated on a level with rivals, they will leave and go where the moolah is.
And then you are left with the problem (and expense) of recruiting someone with similar experience to fill their role, and often you end up having to pay them more anyway, so you would have been better off just giving your old member of staff a little extra to begin with.
Swings and roundabouts, I believe the saying goes.
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