Increased compensation as competitive advantage

Employee pay and income inequality are big items in the news recently—rising awareness of the issue (thanks in part to Robert Reich’s documentary, Inequality for All, and Elizabeth Warren’s recently-released A Fighting Chance) has sparked debate in the US Senate over upping the federal minimum wage. Yesterday, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray announced a plan to increase the city’s minimum wage to $15 in an effort to address the widening wealth gap and set an example for the rest of the country just a day after a plan to raise the federal minimum wage was killed in the Senate.

Most of the vocal enemies of the pay increase are talking about the negative consequences for businesses, but companies should also be thinking about increased compensation as driver of competitive advantage. Will better-paid employees be more engaged, more loyal, and more productive? Compensation is a big part of worker attraction and retention—and we’ll be measuring how it stacks up against other benefits in our surveys.

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