After years of coping with a struggling economy and little in the way of pay boosts, why aren't employees happier about getting a raise? Kronos says its results, which come from an online survey of 2,030 adults, aren't based on a probability sample. So perhaps it turned up particularly ungrateful folks.
Still, the finding does fit with prior studies: Academic research has shown that small raises make very small differences. Boosts below 7 or 8 percent fail to "evoke positive perceptual and attitudinal reactions among employees," according to one study. Today's average raise is less than half that high.
For employers, though, the whole point of handing out raises is to make people feel appreciated. If that's not happening, it may be that the boss is relying too much on raises alone to keep people engaged. "Expressing gratitude is a form of communication that's often overlooked," says Joyce Maroney, director of the Workforce Institute. Saying thank you and offering positive feedback can have a strong impact on employees.
Though, let's not forget, so can pay bumps if they're of any real size.