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January 16, 2008
Do Employees Receive Higher Pay 'by Association'?
A new report has found that employees who are members of associations earn higher salaries, like their jobs more and are happier people than non-members.

The report, "Where the Winners Meet: Why Happier, More Successful People Gravitate Toward Associations," released by the William E. Smith Institute for Association Research, was based on a study of 1,200 American adults.

Specifically, it found that association members earn, on average, $10,000 more per year than non-members with the same education levels and job types. Association members were also much more likely (by a 19 percent margin) to report that they are "very satisfied" with their jobs than non-members.

The report found, however, that it wasn't necessarily association membership that leads to success for an individual, but success in one's profession which increases the likelihood of an individual joining an association.

"The report's findings help associations leverage the fact that they are the meeting grounds for successful people to come together within their industries and professions to network and exchange ideas," Dr. Arthur J. Brooks, the Institute's director, said in a press release. "Associations can use this insight to attract and retain high-value members and then provide those members with opportunities and environments that continue to enhance their success."

Brooks noted that the report should help employers address in their retention efforts of their best performers, specifically by encouraging such employees to join associations: "Virtually everyone agrees that higher morale lowers attrition. The conclusion employers can reach from this research is that it is in their best interest to encourage high-value employees to involve themselves in associations and the positive environments they provide."

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