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The traditional view among managers and HR professionals is that compensation is not the primary reason people leave their jobs. The belief (which I once held to be true) was that employees usually leave their positions due to a lack of upward mobility, problems with the boss, a better work/life balance and so on. Well, it now appears that this thinking is outdated, and in fact, it IS all about money. The Wall Street Journal recently cited a survey done by Watson Wyatt Worldwide, a human resources consulting firm, and WorldatWork, a human resources association, which showed that more than 70% of employees who left their jobs did so for more money. The survey focused on top performers, the very people employers strive to keep. With bonus time just around the corner, it is now crystal clear that if you want to retain and motivate top performers, you’d better show them the money.

Tony LoPinto is CEO of Equinox Partners, an executive search firm specializing in the real estate industry, and parent company of SelectLeaders. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own.

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