Can a Higher Salary Improve Your Loyalty as an Employee

Can a Higher Salary Improve Your Loyalty as an Employee
JobStreet content teamupdated on 30 September, 2022

Opportunities abound in today’s competitive job market. As a result, many employees are reevaluating their purpose and relationship with work. But while it is tempting to seek out greener pastures, you need to weigh your priorities to know what is essential in your career journey. Can a higher salary improve your loyalty, or will you risk your job satisfaction for it?

What drives employee retention for Malaysians

With the continued recovery of the Malaysian economy from the pandemic, salary growth in different industries soared. According to the JobStreet Salary Report 2022, 43.3% of industries saw a year-on-year increase in job salaries between the first and third quarters of 2021. In response to this, employee salary expectations have significantly changed.

Employees in many industries are now less likely to accept low-paying jobs because they now have more opportunities available. But, it is no surprise that many Malaysians prioritise salary and compensation. Given the rising inflation and economic uncertainty, people need the resources to thrive.

Importance of job satisfaction for Malaysians

Job satisfaction and employee retention or loyalty are important factors in today’s job market. Malaysian employers are always looking for ways to achieve these key components in their company. They want to keep their top talent and nurture a supportive workplace.

At the same time, jobseekers and employees want to attain these factors in their career journey. Does job satisfaction come from staying in an organisation or leaving it? What would retain satisfaction if someone were to stay in an organisation?

A 2022 PwC report says that most Malaysian employees are satisfied with their jobs. However, 17% of the respondents are extremely or very likely to switch to a new employer in the next 12 months. This is likely due to the past uncertainties which made Malaysian jobseekers and employees crave stability and satisfaction.

Higher salary vs employee retention

There are many reasons why employees are leaving their jobs. Some seek work-life balance and remote work options, while others desire more training opportunities. Meanwhile, others are turning to self-employment altogether. Despite these factors, the JobStreet Salary Report 2022 reveals that salaries and compensation remain the number one motivator for workers changing jobs.

Salary and compensation undeniably play a vital role in job satisfaction. If you want a higher salary, know there is nothing wrong with that. In fact, employees with higher wages tend to be more motivated to remain in their jobs.

On the flip side, even employees with high-paying jobs may find themselves yearning for more fulfilling roles. So, how can you find the right balance? Can a higher salary improve your loyalty? Or are there other factors that affect your job satisfaction?

Factors affecting job satisfaction

Job satisfaction can be defined in different ways. Some employees find satisfaction in having the essentials: a roof above their head, food on their table, and the chance to pursue their passion. To others, satisfaction translates to having peace of mind and less stress while earning to pay the bills.

When you spend most of your waking hours in the workplace, you need more than a high paycheck to satisfy your needs. You need to find a healthy balance to manage your job satisfaction. Here are a few ingredients that can affect your loyalty and job satisfaction in your career journey.

1. Workplace culture

Having a healthy workplace culture usually means you share the same values and work ethics with your employers and colleagues. Working in an environment like this adds weight to your job satisfaction. It can increase happiness, create a sense of fulfilment, positively impact your work performance, and ultimately improve overall employee loyalty and retention.

A healthy work environment is a long-term investment for you and for your employer. It contributes to your mental and physical well-being. When you have a safe space to grow professionally, you avoid stress and burnout, leading to a healthier lifestyle.

2. Job security

Job security is now a significant concern, especially after the layoffs from the pandemic and the ongoing recession. The pressure is now on employers to be future-focused and equipped for change. Employees now expect companies to show that they can manage change effectively, handling economic changes in a way that keeps employees safe.

Feeling secure means that you trust the relationship you have with your employer. It gives you the space to focus more on your career goals and trajectory. You don’t constantly worry about your job and are motivated to produce high-quality results.

3. Career development

Continuous training is an important part of your career journey. It allows you to keep up with the evolving and competitive job market. Thus, job satisfaction follows in a place where growth opportunities abound.

How can a high salary improve loyalty without advancement opportunities? If your employer fails to provide training opportunities for you, it leads to stagnation. Eventually, the lack of growth opportunities may stunt your salary as well. Based on JobStreet’s latest report, 42% of Malaysian workers are concerned about the increasing effects of automation and digital tools on their jobs. You need to constantly update your skills to keep up with the evolving workforce. Investing in yourself and having that channel your employers provide yields long-term returns.

4. Well-being

As more employees prioritise their mental health and work-life balance, employers aim to create work environments where people can fully thrive. A high paycheck and “standard” benefits are no longer enough to boost loyalty. You are likely to work with an employer that prioritises your well-being. This is because you feel cared for, heard, and appreciated.

Having a higher salary doesn’t automatically result in your job satisfaction. Remember the term, “more money, more problems”? You may set yourself up for stress without being prepared for a salary bump. You need to pace yourself and manage your mental health along with your financial health.

5. Rewards and recognition

There are undoubtedly various ways employers can show their appreciation and recognition to their employees. But when we come down to it, a competitive salary is the basic form of appreciation most employees expect. Employees who are paid their worth have confidence in their skills and are motivated to keep up their excellent work.

Recognition connects you to the organisation, elevates performance, and increases your likelihood of staying. When you are rewarded for your contributions, you feel ownership and pride and are willing to work just as hard on your next project. It is easy to get demoralised if you turn up for work daily, with your work not getting acknowledged.


Employers are now trying to overhaul their retention strategies by providing current employees and offering jobseekers competitive packages to avoid turnover. Given the circumstances, it is understandable for you to start questioning your choices. If you are weighing your career choices, you may wonder what you should focus on. So, can a high salary improve your loyalty?

Your happiness and job satisfaction are both desirable and attainable; however, it may sometimes be necessary to modify your expectations based on your current priorities. Achieving job satisfaction depends on your values, priorities, family obligations and spending habits. Yes, money does not always buy happiness, but it certainly contributes to overall satisfaction. With this, you must reassess your goals and start planning for the long term.

Looking for a job that satisfies you? #SEEKBetter opportunities at JobStreet! Update your JobStreet profile today and get your career journey restarted. Don’t forget to visit the Career and Resources Hub for more career tips and expert advice.

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