The world’s best-performing firms pay their staff less than other companies do, it has been suggested.

According to research conducted by Hay Group, businesses in the 2008 Fortune’s Most Admired Companies list paid their staff an average of five per cent less than other organisations.

However, such companies were also found to reward their workers more effectively than others and were said to be better at communicating these rewards.

"A key differentiator between higher and lesser performing companies is the implementation of successful employee reward strategies," stated Colin Evans, associate director of reward consulting at Hay Group.

He added that the "best strategies" are ones which excel at communicating benefits and optimising performance-related pay.

In related news, a study recently conducted by BT Business suggested that small to medium-sized enterprises struggle to measure the performance of home workers, potentially making performance-related pay difficult to implement for such staff.