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Employees Value Fair Pay Most in Employers, But Also Emphasize Fair Treatment and Ethical Standards

December 06, 2018

Competitive pay and fair treatment are key to attracting, engaging, and retaining quality staff, according to a new survey of 540 full-time employees.

WASHINGTON, DC, December 6, 2018 – The most important workplace value for full-time employees is fair pay, according to a recent survey from Clutch, a B2B ratings and reviews firm. More than half of employees (55%) ranked “compensates me fairly” as the 1st or 2nd most important workplace attribute. Employees want fair compensation.

Clutch surveyed 540 full-time employees to better understand which workplace attributes employees find most important.

While every generation ranked fair pay as the most important attribute, generations differed in their level of emphasis. Baby boomers value whether their company compensates them fairly the most (42%), ahead of Generation X (32%) and millennials (29%).

Companies should offer competitive pay to keep employees engaged. For companies that cannot afford that, though, other opportunities can suffice.

“I found many individuals highly motivated by loftier titles, added responsibilities, plusher offices, the respect of others in the organization,” said Victor Lipman, author of “Type B Manager: Leading Successfully in a Type A World.”

Employees Value a Fair & Ethical Workplace

The second most important workplace attribute is that the employer “treats its workforce fairly,” with 54% of employees ranking it as the 1st or 2nd most important attribute. “High ethical standards” ranked 3rd, at 38%.

Fairness and ethical standards help an employee feel proud of their work. This is important as work becomes a larger part of employees’ lives.

“Work is, more than ever, embedded in our identity as individuals and we want to take pride in our jobs and in our workplaces,” said Patsy Doerr, Global Head of D&I at Thomson Reuters.

Companies can promote fairness by offering support to employees that start out at a disadvantage and providing compensation based on skill and work, not privilege.

Companies can also promote high ethical standards by creating a code of ethics, rewarding positive behavior in the workplace, and using management to signal the importance of accountability.

Years ago, employees may not have considered the ethics as important to their choice of employer. This has changed.

“With a rising awareness of the need for equality now, more than ever before, employees are looking to ensure their workplace is meeting their corporate citizenship and ethical standards,” said Nate Masterson, CEO of Maple Holistics, a bath and beauty company.

Read the full survey report:

For questions about the survey or a comment on the findings, contact Michelle Delgado at [email protected].

About Clutch

A B2B research, ratings, and reviews firm in the heart of Washington, DC, Clutch connects small and medium businesses with the best-fit agencies, software, or consultants they need to tackle business challenges together and with confidence. Clutch’s methodology compares business service providers and software in a specific market based on verified client reviews, services offered, work quality, and market presence.


Michelle Delgado

[email protected]

(202) 899-2779