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(Quartz)   It's official: higher pay attracts better workers, says everyone but your boss   (qz.com) divider line 75
    More: Amusing, field study, workers  
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1879 clicks; posted to Business » on 13 Dec 2013 at 12:40 PM (39 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-12-13 12:48:32 PM
"It's official-higher pay attracts better workers," said no Republican ever.

// unless they were talking about money managers, AJs of SCOTUS, Congresspeople, executives...
// but not the poors; they're all just lazy entitled moochers
 
2013-12-13 12:53:18 PM
When you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.
 
2013-12-13 12:55:32 PM
And yet charter schools main reason to exist is to pay teachers less. I wonder how this will all work out.

/no I don't. I know exactly how this will work out.
 
2013-12-13 01:00:02 PM
This seems obvious.  What was the counter-argument?
 
2013-12-13 01:05:36 PM

aaronx: And yet charter schools main reason to exist is to pay teachers less. I wonder how this will all work out.

/no I don't. I know exactly how this will work out.


And education would be perfect if all teachers made six figures but couldn't be evaluated on performance?
 
2013-12-13 01:07:29 PM

MooseMuffin: This seems obvious.  What was the counter-argument?


Sounds like it was a bureaucratic community development type of job ("like Peace Corps volunteers") and they were worried that offering too high of a salary would attract applicants who were just interested in the money and wouldn't really care about the job and helping their community.

Apparently, the higher salary kept the riff-raff from applying in the first place because they figured there was no chance they'd get the job.
 
2013-12-13 01:09:29 PM
So you're saying our daylong focus group's solution of Wacky Tacky Non-denominational, Ethnically-diverse, Hypoallergenic, All-fabric-color-embracing Holiday Sweater Day doesn't make up for no Hot Cocoa Sampler Boxes this year?
 
2013-12-13 01:10:18 PM

MooseMuffin: This seems obvious.  What was the counter-argument?


That you should either offer a low wage so you only get applicants who want to work for the love of working, and presumably don't have bills to pay or instead offer your employees free doughnuts once a week to make them happier about working for $100/week less than they could get elsewhere.
 
2013-12-13 01:14:31 PM
I think there's probably a threshold effect here - start offering ridiculously high wages and you will get the sociopaths who are in it just for the money.  The problem is, those sociopaths will be able to sound and act like they're truly motivated by the cause, so you won't know until they've been there a while.
 
2013-12-13 01:15:01 PM
That seals, it we need to increase the min wage so that the workers will be better.
 
2013-12-13 01:16:12 PM

Heraclitus: When you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.


I thought monkeys liked bananas?

I admit it. I don't know what any animals eat. Except pandas. They eat bamboo and their own babies.
 
2013-12-13 01:25:28 PM
I suspect what we have here is a good example of 'over thinking' something: AKA, Mental Masturbation.

It's been proven in retail time and time again that the happier employees are, the better they perform and when they have a sense of belonging, they start protecting the company.

If you ever watched any of those old films made in the 30s and 40s, you'll note how employees in most companies tended to display a firm loyalty. Sometimes, generations worked in a factory and not because it was the only available work around.

Businesses tended to treat employees better, not like expendable pawns.

The early 20th century had a massive amount of productivity from the US -- until the 70's.

Even before the Arab Oil Crash, some businesses were developing the idea to maximize profits by removing 'excess personnel' and having those who remained take on the additional workload with no incentives. Pay raises started getting smaller and 'efficiency experts' showed up.

The financial crash caused by OPEC just worsened the situation, and companies seemed to forget that their survival depended not only on customers, but employees doing a good job. Wages fell as the COL increased and Minimum Wage Laws had to be enacted. Employees became unhappier as their job security and pay scales fell.

The unhappier the employees got, the less productive they became and companies all but destroyed the benefits of being a Loyal Employee or Company Man, except among those in the executive levels. This led to increased shrinkage, meaning theft of goods by employees and customers, increased damage to goods when being made or handled and fewer employees bothered even helping to protect the stores from shop lifters.

Their pay wasn't enough for them to risk getting injured chasing one down, plus new company regulations tended to not cover them if they got injured chasing a thief and new lawyers started suing them for rough handling of thieves. Companies would no longer support them. Actually, as many of you have read here on FARK, often an employee protecting the store or customers from a robber would get fired because in so doing, he exposed the company to a possible lawsuit.

It's one thing to go to work happy, knowing you're actually needed where you work and the company will back you but it's a whole other thing when you're going to just a job, where you can be easily replaced and they keep dumping more and more work on you with no incentive but often threats of termination if you didn't do it.

Benefits were slashed, seasoned, good company men close to retirement were terminated as deadwood, even if they had a stellar record, and ways were found to screw them out of a sizable chunk of their company backed pension. New, inexperienced folks were hired in at a lot less to replace them.

This disloyalty to the employees affected the entire operations plans of many a company, which in turn assisted heavily in their loss of profits.

During WW2, there are many stories of companies working to keep up with the war effort, yet not being able to pay their employees much, but they backed the workers, gave them as many perks and benefits as they could, worked hard to keep their moral up and assured them that they were a vital part in helping the troops.

Those employees showed up day after day, working often in poor conditions, and churned out high quality materials for the soldiers even though, after work, they faced a host of shortages in food and fuel. Many worked beyond what was expected of them.

That 'espre de corps' (Pardon my spelling.)' gave the US a tremendous productivity which lasted until the 70's.

Then, corporations turned around and kicked the workers right in the teeth, out sourced to previous enemies to save a buck, cheapened the quality of products and let the average working stiff know that they were NOT vital to the company and could easily be replaced.

It's been proven time and time again that while pay matters, how the employee is treated often matters more. A minimum wager worker can be a good worker if he knows his efforts are appreciated and if he gets a small reward from time to time.

Companies used to give out small bonuses, hams and turkeys to their low paid employees but many of those treats stopped. Many gave out generous discounts to employees working in their department or grocery stores, but those got cut back. The last department store I worked in gave me a whole 10% discount. Yet the markup on merchandise was usually 100%. The discount did not come into play with sale merchandise either.

Greater pay is nice, but each time a raise is forced through, the companies promptly up the cost of goods to recover their losses, meaning that within a short period of time, your spending power goes right back to where it was prior to the raise.

It reminds me of an interview with a butcher in a Union town, some years back. The Union had pushed through a raise and when asked what he thought of it, he replied 'the Union gets a raise and so do I.' Meaning, he jacked his prices up.

Pay rate is not the only thing which affects productivity. Employee relations and treatment can affect a stores bottom line more than payroll.
 
2013-12-13 01:39:15 PM

Rik01: Pay rate is not the only thing which affects productivity. Employee relations and treatment can affect a stores bottom line more than payroll.


While this is true I do feel dumber for reading the other part of your diatribe.
 
2013-12-13 01:47:31 PM
you normally don't get the prevailing wage until you quit, so aim to be great at your job and then quit,.
 
2013-12-13 01:54:29 PM
Yet employers and economic theorists alike aren't sure that's true, since high pay might attract job applicants who are in it just for the money.

Because the business that are hiring aren't in it just for the money, right?
 
2013-12-13 01:56:04 PM

Rik01: Rik01


Fark is not your personal thesis-dump site.
 
2013-12-13 01:56:39 PM
Subby may joke, but employers are always biatching about how they "can't find qualified applicants", forgetting there's an implicit "at the salaries we're offering" included.
 
2013-12-13 02:00:52 PM

LemSkroob: Yet employers and economic theorists alike aren't sure that's true, since high pay might attract job applicants who are in it just for the money.

Because the business that are hiring aren't in it just for the money, right?


Besides, isn't this one of the reasons interviews exist?
 
2013-12-13 02:04:47 PM

Rik01: Greater pay is nice, but each time a raise is forced through, the companies promptly up the cost of goods to recover their losses, meaning that within a short period of time, your spending power goes right back to where it was prior to the raise.


Obviously we know this isn't true, companies don't price based on their costs, they price based on their competitors prices, and what the consumer will pay. The only impact costs generally have in most markets is whether and how profitable the company is. A company that bases prices on its costs is something more akin to a co-operative association, or a maybe a semi-charitable organization of some sort.
 
2013-12-13 02:08:00 PM
Ever notice that as colleges become more and more liberal the dumber and dumber the business graduates have become?  It's almost as though they're trying to destroy capitalism.
 
2013-12-13 02:09:52 PM

Smeggy Smurf: Ever notice that as colleges become more and more liberal the dumber and dumber the business graduates have become?  It's almost as though they're trying to destroy capitalism.


Ya. That's exactly it.

That is the stupidest thing I've heard in a long time. A long time.
 
2013-12-13 02:14:38 PM

LemSkroob: Yet employers and economic theorists alike aren't sure that's true, since high pay might attract job applicants who are in it just for the money.

Because the business that are hiring aren't in it just for the money, right?


Not every organization that needs workers is a business.
 
2013-12-13 02:17:14 PM

Rik01: I suspect what we have here is a good example of 'over thinking' something: AKA, Mental Masturbation..... Actually, as many ...


It cuts both ways.  Employees treat companies like shiat too.

Should we cry for the company when an employee negotiates a 5% raise when they would have done the same work with a 2% raise?
Should we cry for the company when an employee is hired and then 6 months later gets a new job and leaves?  It's very expensive to hire somebody.
Should we cry for the company when an employee turns out to be a lazy SOB and now the company's Unemployment Insurance rate goes up when they let the person go?  And then cry more when they employer gets sued for some made up EEOC charge where you're practically guilty until proven innocent?

Sometimes 10% of the workforce is cut in order to save the jobs of the other 90%.  Sometimes your annual 3% raise is cut because the cost of benefits the employer pays went up 10%.

Most businesses are run by people who are trying to do the right thing by both their employees and their owners/themselves.  Yep, they're trying to maximize profit like employees are trying to maximize their salary... that's why both parties have gotten together to work.
 
2013-12-13 02:19:45 PM

Smeggy Smurf: Ever notice that as colleges become more and more liberal the dumber and dumber the business graduates have become?  It's almost as though they're trying to destroy capitalism.


I'm convinced that the whole concept of "business school" is some elaborate piece of performance art.  It's a long con that's been runnning for at least four generations now, and someday someone will open up a time capsule in the Skull and Bones headquarters with proof that it was all a joke started from a bar bet between undergraduates at Yale and Harvard in 1929.
 
2013-12-13 02:35:14 PM

Lunchlady: That is the stupidest thing I've heard in a long time. A long time.


Come now, surely you can't have missed the conspiracy theories surrounding the recent plane cash with Obama's birth certificate official or whatever.
 
2013-12-13 02:40:09 PM

Dr Dreidel: "It's official-higher pay attracts better workers," said no Republican ever.

// unless they were talking about money managers, AJs of SCOTUS, Congresspeople, executives...
// but not the poors; they're all just lazy entitled moochers


Well, they're only poor because they're lazy and Jeebus is punishing them.
 
2013-12-13 02:43:46 PM

Dr Dreidel: "It's official-higher pay attracts better workers," said no Republican ever.

// unless they were talking about money managers, AJs of SCOTUS, Congresspeople, executives...
// but not the poors; they're all just lazy entitled moochers


I believe most professional sports teams are owned by Republicans.
 
2013-12-13 02:54:51 PM
This is why we should raise minimum wage to $15/hour.  Then everybody will be more competent.
 
2013-12-13 02:57:22 PM

xria: Rik01: Greater pay is nice, but each time a raise is forced through, the companies promptly up the cost of goods to recover their losses, meaning that within a short period of time, your spending power goes right back to where it was prior to the raise.

Obviously we know this isn't true, companies don't price based on their costs, they price based on their competitors prices, and what the consumer will pay. The only impact costs generally have in most markets is whether and how profitable the company is. A company that bases prices on its costs is something more akin to a co-operative association, or a maybe a semi-charitable organization of some sort.


Yeah, that's not true. Costs are the only thing that a company can change.
 
2013-12-13 03:00:50 PM

Dr Dreidel: "It's official-higher pay attracts better workers," said no Republican ever.

// unless they were talking about money managers, AJs of SCOTUS, Congresspeople, executives...
// but not the poors; they're all just lazy entitled moochers


i.imgur.com
 
2013-12-13 03:31:58 PM

serial_crusher: This is why we should raise minimum wage to $15/hour.  Then everybody will be more competent.


Exactly.  Those working 2 jobs can do just one better.  And those working 60 hours can afford to work 40 and be more competent during those 40.
 
2013-12-13 03:34:21 PM

Dr Dreidel: "It's official-higher pay attracts better workers," said no Republican ever.


"F*ck low skilled people, we'll keep them idle, inexperienced, and on the government dole forever, by making them unteneble to hire."

said every democrat constantly.
 
2013-12-13 03:39:04 PM

xria: Rik01: Greater pay is nice, but each time a raise is forced through, the companies promptly up the cost of goods to recover their losses, meaning that within a short period of time, your spending power goes right back to where it was prior to the raise.

Obviously we know this isn't true, companies don't price based on their costs, they price based on their competitors prices, and what the consumer will pay. The only impact costs generally have in most markets is whether and how profitable the company is. A company that bases prices on its costs is something more akin to a co-operative association, or a maybe a semi-charitable organization of some sort.


your price better be high enough to cover your costs. If not, you're, at best, losing money.
 
2013-12-13 03:42:31 PM

YixilTesiphon: And education would be perfect if all teachers made six figures but couldn't be evaluated on performance?


And how well a teacher performs frequently has absolutely no farking correlation to whether a particular child learns the material.

Students are human beings, each with different abilities, backgrounds, attitudes and minds. Asking a teacher to "produce" a preformed student to specific specs without that student's intelligence, cooperation and effort is like trying to make car parts without knowing what material they will be made of until someone hands you a lump of it.
 
2013-12-13 03:46:01 PM

inglixthemad: Dr Dreidel: "It's official-higher pay attracts better workers," said no Republican ever.

// unless they were talking about money managers, AJs of SCOTUS, Congresspeople, executives...
// but not the poors; they're all just lazy entitled moochers

Well, they're only poor because they're lazy and Jeebus is punishing them.


Well, the point is that because the poor are not good workers with skills in high-demand, high-productivity sectors*, they're paid less.

It's like gentrification.  It's not improving the area by improving the lot of poor people, it's improving the area by kicking the ghetto people out and bringing in richer white/Asian people.  It's great for the neighborhood, but at best a wash for the ghetto people.

*Read: Can be done by Chinese people in China or Mexicans who are just happy that they're not being skinned alive by drug lords here.
 
2013-12-13 03:57:13 PM

12349876: serial_crusher: This is why we should raise minimum wage to $15/hour.  Then everybody will be more competent.

Exactly.  Those working 2 jobs can do just one better.  And those working 60 hours can afford to work 40 and be more competent during those 40.


Touché, you make a good point.
 
2013-12-13 03:58:33 PM

dfenstrate: Dr Dreidel: "It's official-higher pay attracts better workers," said no Republican ever.

"F*ck low skilled people, we'll keep them idle, inexperienced, and on the government dole forever, by making them unteneble to hire."

said every democrat constantly.


All your effort and motion and flailing, for naught.

cl.jroo.me
 
2013-12-13 04:15:45 PM

rugman11: MooseMuffin: This seems obvious.  What was the counter-argument?

Sounds like it was a bureaucratic community development type of job ("like Peace Corps volunteers") and they were worried that offering too high of a salary would attract applicants who were just interested in the money and wouldn't really care about the job and helping their community.

Apparently, the higher salary kept the riff-raff from applying in the first place because they figured there was no chance they'd get the job.


This is the dilemma of public education. Most teachers I know stay in the profession for altruistic reasons. Do they deserve to be paid more? Yes. But if you were to pay teachers $100K a year, you'd get a lot of failed law-school sociopath types in the profession. Not just a few. A LOT.
 
2013-12-13 04:24:05 PM
Not in America it doesn't.


that is why so many capitalist american jobs go to commie (according to CIA.gov) China for cheap labor.  the stockholders loves them some cheap commie labor.

i'm not belittling the Chinese people, just the communist Party that exploits them.


under a capitalist system man exploits man.
under a communist one, its just the opposite.
  -renowned american economist john kenneth galbraith.
 
2013-12-13 04:27:12 PM
crony capitalist american company owners don't want to pay their workers a living wage, because they need to buy an extra porsche this christmas for their mice.


after all, its all about them and what they want.
 
2013-12-13 04:38:10 PM

dfenstrate: Dr Dreidel: "It's official-higher pay attracts better workers," said no Republican ever.

"F*ck low skilled people, we'll keep them idle, inexperienced, and on the government dole forever, by making them unteneble to hire."

said every democrat constantly.


Even allowing for hyper-partisanship, WTF does that even mean? I mean, I LITERALLY just went from 'idle and on the dole' to 'gainfully employed to the tune of ~$12,000 in taxes per year paid to the Feds', and I have no idea what you mean, in theory or practice.

Is it anything other than "DEMOCRATS BAD"?
 
2013-12-13 04:48:42 PM

Dr Dreidel: dfenstrate: Dr Dreidel: "It's official-higher pay attracts better workers," said no Republican ever.

"F*ck low skilled people, we'll keep them idle, inexperienced, and on the government dole forever, by making them unteneble to hire."

said every democrat constantly.

Even allowing for hyper-partisanship, WTF does that even mean? I mean, I LITERALLY just went from 'idle and on the dole' to 'gainfully employed to the tune of ~$12,000 in taxes per year paid to the Feds', and I have no idea what you mean, in theory or practice.

Is it anything other than "DEMOCRATS BAD"?


We're actually going to get a nice controlled experiment of this starting next year: the Medicaid expansion happening in some States.

If the safety net actually lulls able-bodied adults into a life of idle dependency, we'll see a decrease in labor force participation in States that expand Medicaid, compared to ones that do not.

/not that anyone's mind will be changed of course
 
2013-12-13 04:59:59 PM

ecmoRandomNumbers: rugman11: MooseMuffin: This seems obvious.  What was the counter-argument?

Sounds like it was a bureaucratic community development type of job ("like Peace Corps volunteers") and they were worried that offering too high of a salary would attract applicants who were just interested in the money and wouldn't really care about the job and helping their community.

Apparently, the higher salary kept the riff-raff from applying in the first place because they figured there was no chance they'd get the job.

This is the dilemma of public education. Most teachers I know stay in the profession for altruistic reasons. Do they deserve to be paid more? Yes. But if you were to pay teachers $100K a year, you'd get a lot of failed law-school sociopath types in the profession. Not just a few. A LOT.


I don't know about that.  You still need to get a teaching degree to teach and, while they're not hard to get, they do still require many hours in the classroom under the supervision of another teacher.  And, while people tend to think of teaching as a permanent job, there are a lot of reviews, especially during the first few years.  So if somebody's terrible at their job, it's usually found out.

And if somebody is just in it for the money but also a good teacher, why not let them teach?
 
2013-12-13 05:14:19 PM

Gaseous Anomaly: Dr Dreidel: dfenstrate: Dr Dreidel: "It's official-higher pay attracts better workers," said no Republican ever.

"F*ck low skilled people, we'll keep them idle, inexperienced, and on the government dole forever, by making them unteneble to hire."

said every democrat constantly.

Even allowing for hyper-partisanship, WTF does that even mean? I mean, I LITERALLY just went from 'idle and on the dole' to 'gainfully employed to the tune of ~$12,000 in taxes per year paid to the Feds', and I have no idea what you mean, in theory or practice.

Is it anything other than "DEMOCRATS BAD"?

We're actually going to get a nice controlled experiment of this starting next year: the Medicaid expansion happening in some States.

If the safety net actually lulls able-bodied adults into a life of idle dependency, we'll see a decrease in labor force participation in States that expand Medicaid, compared to ones that do not.

/not that anyone's mind will be changed of course


And we all know how it will turn out...The GOP's already trying to find ways to pretend that it's not going to turn out the way that even THEY know it will....
 
2013-12-13 05:18:38 PM

Gaseous Anomaly: We're actually going to get a nice controlled experiment of this starting next year: the Medicaid expansion happening in some States.

If the safety net actually lulls able-bodied adults into a life of idle dependency, we'll see a decrease in labor force participation in States that expand Medicaid, compared to ones that do not.

/not that anyone's mind will be changed of course


I never even thought of that. That would be a nice experiment, and we even have a good "control" group.

I won't presuppose the results, but I have my theories.
 
2013-12-13 05:44:11 PM
The study does not say that higher wages leads to better employees.  It finds that in a jobs marketplace job seekers will tend to self select with the higher skilled workers concentrating on the jobs with higher wages and lower skill workers tending to aim for the lower paying jobs.

Increasing the wage offers across the board wouldn't change the overall applicant pool.
 
2013-12-13 06:12:50 PM

MugzyBrown: Rik01: I suspect what we have here is a good example of 'over thinking' something: AKA, Mental Masturbation..... Actually, as many ...

It cuts both ways.  Employees treat companies like shiat too.

Should we cry for the company when an employee negotiates a 5% raise when they would have done the same work with a 2% raise?
Should we cry for the company when an employee is hired and then 6 months later gets a new job and leaves?  It's very expensive to hire somebody.
Should we cry for the company when an employee turns out to be a lazy SOB and now the company's Unemployment Insurance rate goes up when they let the person go?  And then cry more when they employer gets sued for some made up EEOC charge where you're practically guilty until proven innocent?

Sometimes 10% of the workforce is cut in order to save the jobs of the other 90%.  Sometimes your annual 3% raise is cut because the cost of benefits the employer pays went up 10%.

Most businesses are run by people who are trying to do the right thing by both their employees and their owners/themselves.  Yep, they're trying to maximize profit like employees are trying to maximize their salary... that's why both parties have gotten together to work.


I'll grant you that for "most businesses".  However, I challenge it for "the businesses that employ the average person" - something like 99% of employers are "small businesses", but they employ less than half the workforce.  That means that the totally profit-first (by law), screw-the employee mentality is more likely to be true for the average person.

Any generic employee is likely going to have nearly zero leverage over their employer, whereas the employer has near life-and-death leverage over the employee.  Employment negotiations are, therefore, not a meeting of equals.  Our economy, culture, and business practices only seek to reinforce this disparity even when it's false with the concepts of "job creators" being the good guys and unions being bad and being deferential to the boss and so on.  Most candidates don't realize they're supposed to be interviewing the company as much as being interviewed - and many interviewers react harshly if the candidate so much as questions how the company treats its employees.

Seriously - as someone who has worked with multiple HR departments at large companies, corporations and large employers get zero sympathy for me.  Yes, there are crappy employees out there, but the power differential is like having an elephant complain about a sharp piece of grass.
 
2013-12-13 06:49:31 PM
Pretty much what everyone else has said, but the combination of being able to hire people who are actually qualified and ALSO having people possibly give two shiats explains this.

Pay people shiat and why would they care about the company? If they're stressing and struggling just to make ends meet, or working two jobs and not getting sleep, why would you ever think they would perform well on the job?

The people who are qualified but not desperate will not lower themselves for you, and will leave if you try to push them around.

Common farking sense.
 
2013-12-13 06:50:46 PM
high pay might attract job applicants who are in it just for the money

As opposed to all those job applicants are are in it just for the shiats and giggles.
 
2013-12-13 06:54:24 PM

The My Little Pony Killer: As opposed to all those job applicants are are in it just for the shiats and giggles.


There's some alternate dimension that conservative economists live in where the need for food and shelter never affects the decisions or leverage of job seekers in the face of employers.
 
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