Why Paying Employees a Fair or Living Wage Makes Sense

Workers in the food service industry and other industries have been going on strike over wages recently. These strikes have put a spotlight on the issue of fair or living wages for employees. Some business owners have argued that raising wages may lead to negative consequences, such as higher prices for products. However, the positive effects of paying a fair or living wage far outweigh these. In fact, living wages offer the following benefits. 

Living Wages Help the Economy

Workers who are struggling to get by due to lower wages don’t have much money to spend on goods and services other than food and other necessities. Offering fair or living wages provides employees with extra spending money. These employees are able to purchase goods and services that they couldn’t afford before. This spending power boosts the economy and helps it continue growing. With living wages, consumer demand increases. This helps ensure a healthy economy.

Living Wages Increase Employee Productivity

Paying fair or living wages can lead to increased productivity among workers. Employees who are paid these wages typically have less stress, since their wages allow them to cover living expenses while also having extra money to spend or save. This can make it easier for them to focus on their work rather than worrying about finances. Higher wages can also raise employee morale, resulting in a higher level of productivity. Employees who are more satisfied with work due to being a fair wage are often motivated to perform better on the job. This helps create a healthier workplace environment that benefits employees and employers alike. Higher productivity helps businesses thrive.

Living Wages Close the Pay Equity/Gender Gap

The gender gap in wages refers to the fact that women earn less than men on average in a wide range of industries. Earnings for white women are roughly 82 percent of earnings for white men, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. For BIPOC women, the gender gap in pay is even higher. The National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) reports that Black women earn 63 cents for each dollar that white, non-Hispanic men earn. According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, American Indian and Alaska Native women earn 59.7 cents for each dollar that white, non-Hispanic men earn. The NWLC also found that Latinas earn 55 cents and Asian American and Pacific Islander women earn 90 cents for each dollar that white, non-Hispanic men earn.

Paying employees fair or living wages can help businesses achieve pay equity and close the gender gap. This results in fairer and more equal opportunities for men and women in several occupations. Keep in mind that closing the gender gap can also boost employee productivity.

Living Wages Help Businesses Attract and Retain Better Talent

The focus on living wages has raised the issue of making sure employees are paid what they’re worth. Offering lower wages means employers could be missing out on adding considerable talent to their business. These employees are likely to avoid these jobs and look for ones that pay higher wages. Being willing to pay employees a fair or living wage helps improve your chance of attracting better talent. These employees are also much more likely to keep working for you when you’re paying them living wages, since this can significantly improve employee morale. Fair wages help reduce stress in the workplace, resulting in employees who are happier and healthier overall. Keep in mind that improving employee morale through living wages can help lead to healthcare savings for companies. 

How The Hopkins Group Can Help

The Hopkins Group can ensure that you attract and retain better talent in order to help your business grow and thrive. Our human resources experts can assist you in determining competitive pricing of wages, so that you’re able to offer living wages for employees. We can also review, analyze or help you develop a compensation philosophy. This philosophy is an important part of helping your business ensure fair pay and motivate employees to become more productive. Our team can also provide you with free benchmark data. This data can help you see how your business compares to similar businesses in terms of pay, so that you can make wage adjustments as needed.

 If you’re ready to learn more about how The Hopkins Group can help, please contact us for more information on our HR solutions. You can also sign up to receive free benchmark data.


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