Why happiness of pay rise is 'short-lived'
A pay rise only leads to short-term satisfaction before the rut sets in again, researchers say.
With a rise comes a re-evaluation of status and you soon begin to start comparing your levels of pay to colleague's again.
However, according to researchers, workers who are happy with their pay are less likely to have work and family conflicts.
Scientists say how much a worker actually earns is just as important as how satisfied they are with their pay in determining their happiness.
"Pay, as you might expect, is a relative thing," the Daily Mail quoted Professor Amit Kramer from the University of Illinois as saying.
"I think most people would agree that a certain level of pay that allows you to meet your needs is critical.
"However, beyond that level, relative pay becomes an issue and with it, perception of pay or pay satisfaction," he said.
But once workers achieve a sufficient level of pay, they shift their focus from what their pay allows them to do to other focal points like how much their colleagues earn.
"It becomes 'my pay' compared to others; 'my pay' compared to the effort I invest; 'my pay' compared to the things I give up and miss in life for the opportunity cost of working," Kramer said.
"Organisations believe that actual pay is the No. 1 incentive for employees.
"While this may be true for some employees, for others the social aspects of pay and the things they perceive to be sacrificing for pay are stronger or act as additional incentives and disincentives," he said.
Additionally, the study reveals that the effect of a pay rise on pay satisfaction only has a moderate relationship that does not last very long.
"I'm not sure that the effect of a pay raise lasts very long," Kramer said.
"It might have a short-term effect on pay satisfaction, but individuals are likely to regress to their initial pay satisfaction level over time," he added.