A recent survey from The Workforce Institute at Kronos Incorporated reveals an estimated 82 million Americans – more than half of the U.S. workforce – have experienced a problem with their paycheck during their career. The survey also finds payroll errors cost both employees and employers more than just dollars and cents. Nearly half of American workers (49 percent) will seek new employment after just two payroll mistakes, such as being paid late or incorrectly.
Approximately one in four employees – 24 percent – will look for a new job after the first payroll mistake, while another 25 percent will seek new employment after the second issue. And it’s salaried employees who have the biggest problem with a payroll error. They are more likely than their hourly co-workers to start looking for a new job.
The souring of the employee-employer relationship after a payroll error also seems to affect all demographics of employees. Nearly a third of parents (30 percent) will start a job search after a pay error (compared to 16 percent of non-parents), while men (29 percent) are more likely than women (17 percent) to do the same after just one issue.
The “Engaging Employees through Payroll” survey examines the hidden costs of payroll errors and explores the vital role payroll professionals serve in building an engaged workforce while directly impacting the 152 million workers who make up the American workforce. Some additional findings can be found below:
Effective managers are vital: employees look to their direct supervisor before anyone else for help, making this a critical role to resolve pay issues through effective guidance.
- More than one in four employees (26 percent) say they would first turn to their manager, direct supervisor, or boss for help fixing a mistake.
- About one-fifth of employees (19 percent) would report their payroll problem directly to their human resources department, while 14 percent would turn to their payroll department.
- Surprisingly, seven percent of employees say they would not report a payroll error to anyone. Just four percent are not sure who they would turn to for help correcting a paycheck error.
Generational differences exist: Baby Boomers are most forgiving of payroll errors and have the deepest understanding of their paychecks.
- Nearly half (44 percent) of American employees aged 55 and older say they would stay at their job as long as they are eventually paid correctly. That’s in stark contrast to their colleagues aged 18-29 (13 percent,) 30-39 (17 percent,) and 40-54 (27 percent,) who are much less willing to stay even if they’re eventually paid correctly.
- Just 19 percent of Baby Boomers find the taxes and deductions on their paycheck confusing to read and understand. They once again outperformed other generations, as 45 percent of employees aged 18-29 found their paychecks confusing, while more than half (53 percent) of employees aged 30-39 were confused, along with 38 percent of those aged 40-54.
- While 43 percent of employees aged 18-29 and more than half (52 percent) of employees aged 30-39 have been forced to make a late payment on a bill such as a credit card, car loan, or home/apartment due to a payroll problem, just one in ten (11 percent) Baby Boomers report having ever encountered a similar situation.
Everyone wants a raise: an overwhelming majority of U.S. workers feel they deserve an annual pay raise.
- According to the survey, 84 percent of all employees expect a pay raise each year they stay with their organization, with hourly (85 percent), salaried (83 percent), young employees aged 18-29 (81 percent), Baby Boomers 55+ (81 percent), female (88 percent), and male (80 percent) respondents in nearly universal agreement.