Without a doubt, the private equity and venture capital industries are the source of some of the largest compensation packages in any business worldwide. However, professionals in the industry constantly compare their pay to those in related industries where their skills could be put to use for perhaps higher salaries and bonuses. As a result, monitoring satisfaction with pay for private equity and venture capital professionals is an important activity for managers in the industry concerned with retaining their top talents.
Unfortunately for those managers, the 2014 Private Equity and Venture Capital report found there was a notable decline in pay satisfaction in comparison to last year’s survey. Only 46 percent of employees found themselves satisfied with their pay this year, in comparison to 56 percent of employees in the prior year. This year’s result is still favorable compared to the 41 and 36 percent satisfaction levels noted in the 2012 and 2011 reports respectively, however a shift in the trend will certainly be something that managers will want to keep an eye on in the coming year.
Taking a holistic view on employee satisfaction in the workplace may be one step towards increasing pay satisfaction – the solution isn’t always just increased compensation, but perhaps a more enjoyable workplace where employees don’t just look to cash for satisfaction. This might sound like an attitude more prevalent in a west coast tech start-up, but even Wall Street is starting to take notice, finding that spending a little on Wellness can curb compensation demands.
According to a recent CNN Money report even firms like Goldman Sachs are exploring new ways to motivate employees, whether it be a tai chi club or meditation sessions. While this may be primarily aimed at recruiting and attracting young employees that may be more interested in lifestyle than dollars, the trickle down impacts on the broader employee base can be tangible in lower turnover and less burnout. While there isn’t a great deal of disclosure from private equity firms on innovative wellness initiatives, staying competitive in the overall financial job market will be important going forward.
In many cases, these benefits aren’t about having employees spend less time at the office to find balance, but rather bring many of the employees interests to them in a more convenient package so they can explore their interests in conjunction with the long hours that are often expected in finance jobs. Whether private equity managers explore such initiatives in order to reign in declining pay satisfaction remains to be seen, but these options certainly should be considered as a potential low cost way to build employee enjoyment of their workplace.