Employer Insights

Why Are We Rewarding Job Hoppers?

Kirsty Henegan Posted by Kirsty
min read
Andrew Neel Cckf4 Ts H Auw Unsplash

Networking events were something I was being constantly told about by my partner, friends and work colleagues.

So when my colleague sent me an invitation for Auckland Young Professionals I thought why not? One of the conversations that came up was quite an interesting topic, based on salaries and climbing the career ladder. Speaking to people from different sectors and employers (mainly where there is a skill shortage), a lot of people were saying the same thing:

“There is a flat structure in my workplace for career and salary progression, but I know people who have left the company for a year, gained external experience and then come back and been offered a much higher salary, than if they had stayed.”

This is the same concept as the naughty child in school. When they finally behave, they are rewarded, whilst it was just an ongoing expectation of those who were consistently well behaved. 

We all get our red flags out when we see someone has ‘job hopped’, yet we are promoting this by giving people a financial reward that we don’t give to our loyal employees.  That is not me saying we should be increasing Jane’s salary from IT, because she has been working for the company for 5 years, but in fact, comes in and watches YouTube videos all day. Loyalty doesn’t just cover how long you have worked at the company, but the quality and efficiency of the work you produce and the recognisable traits of going above and beyond.

Then, how could we reward loyalty?

Therefore, instead of having a structure in place with a set increase for each employee, should we be looking at a salary increase/ reward based on loyalty + performance? I know this can be difficult and sometimes messy, as performance can be subjective, but if an employee can go to a manager and say I have been doing X, Y, & Z plus I have been here for x amount of years, surely this level of commitment should be matched to be the same as the person who has left and returned? If we are wanting employees to be loyal and stop job hopping maybe, we should be giving them a reason not to move on. After all, if we can reward the job hoppers, why can’t we reward our loyal staff?