Less than half (42%) believe they are paid fairly, according to research by consultancy Towers Watson.
Its latest Global Workforce Study, which surveyed 32,000 employees, also found that salary is the number one reason why employees may consider switching job.
The research also found that 46% were anxious about their financial future.
Meanwhile, Towers Watson’s Global Talent Management and Rewards Survey, which surveyed 1,600 global organisations, found that more than half of respondents said that staff turnover is increasing and retaining top performers and high-potential employees is becoming increasingly difficult.
Carole Hathaway, global leader of Towers Watson’s rewards practice, said: “It is apparent that employers need to get savvier about what makes employees tick if they are to succeed in bringing the best people into their workforce and holding into them.
“Pay is most certainly top of mind for employees when they are making career decisions about when to stay and when to go. Mounting anxiety caused by recent headlines about stagnant pay growth is serving to re-focus workers’ minds on their salary and whether they are getting a fair deal.
”Lingering pressures on the pay pot caused by the wider economic climate mean that employers generally don’t have the flexibility to divert extra funds into the salary budget. However, this does not stop them from improving perceptions of fairness by ensuring effective differentiation through better alignment between pay and performance.
”Today’s employers should expect to communicate the facts on pay for performance to employees, in part drawing on up-to-date internal and external pay benchmarking information, providing tools to line managers and increasing transparency over the reward process to build more trust and confidence in the reward process among their employees.
”They should also ensure that employees understand the value of their total package and not forget about all of the other rewards that are part of their contract.”