I’ve always wondered about this one. And I’m still lost.

Today an article from Harvard Business Review came across the wire about why top young managers are in a non-stop job hunt. It’s a quick read, so check it out here.

From the article:

And who can blame them? Comparing the peripatetic [means ‘constantly traveling’] managers’ salary histories with those of peers who stayed put, we found that each change of employer created a measurable advantage in pay; in fact, a job change was the biggest single determinant of a pay increase. This represents a significant difference from the past. Job hopping has long been viewed as a shortcut to the top, but research showed that was a myth for earlier generations, who paid a price in terms of promotions and often saw their salaries suffer as well.

It’s always been widely known in the recruiting community that if you want the big pay increases, you’ve got to change jobs. I still don’t think I have my head around that. Many compensation systems limit even top performers, throttling annual pay increases and forcing them toward a compensation range midpoint. And promotions can be just as disappointing – sometimes only increasing pay by 5%-10%. Bigger job, more responsibility – but not-so-great rewards.

This HBR article infers – at least for many companies – that we’ve seemingly created systems that incentivize our top performers to leave.

Now I’m no compensation expert, but doesn’t that just seem counterintuitive?