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Job satisfaction trumps salary

Bill Richards
negotiating a pay rise

Only 12 percent of British workers deem pay the most important factor in their jobs. More than half of us would turn down a big salary pay rise if it meant working with people or in an environment we didn’t like. Contributor Bill Richards, UK Managing Director – Indeed.

Almost half of employees rate enjoyment or good colleagues as the most significant aspect of their job, according to new research from the global job site, Indeed. The vast majority of workers in the UK are not motivated primarily by how much they are paid, according to surprising research conducted by job site, Indeed.

Only 12 percent of workers class their salary as the most important factor in their job, far behind enjoying the job (24 percent) and ‘having a good relationship’ with their colleagues (21 percent) as the main drivers of job satisfaction. So essential is a good working environment that more than half of the country (55 percent) say they would turn down a big pay rise if it meant working with people or in an environment they did not like.

However, this doesn’t mean that workers in the UK are automatically happy with their pay. The majority (53 percent) do not think they are currently paid ‘appropriately’ – supporting the suggestion that many will trade a lower salary for a job they enjoy and/or a positive working environment. This is further backed up by the 52 percent of workers who claim to have a ‘best friend’ at work. The research also highlights that a company’s hiring process has a lasting impression on how potential recruits perceive its working environment.

Two thirds of people (67 percent) would reapply for a position at a company following an excellent interview experience, even if they were unsuccessful. Prospective employees value speedy communication, with 65 percent classing speed of response from the employer as the most important factor in establishing trust. This is particularly highlighted by the 43 percent of jobseekers who feel undermined if a potential employer takes longer than a week to respond.

Meanwhile, 34 percent of people say that they would turn down a job offer, despite a positive application and interview process, if they were told negative things about the company by their peers. Bill Richards, UK Managing Director, Indeed, comments. “Job satisfaction or fulfilment is a complex idea to pin down, and for each person it’s invariably driven by a mix of factors. Yet it’s striking to learn that the vast majority of Britons are not motivated primarily by how much a job pays.

“Jobseekers are looking for the all round package of what a company can offer and employers should note the continuing power of word of mouth in influencing how people feel about where they work. Many of us spend more time at work than we do with our friends and families, so it is vital that our environment and colleagues help create a positive and stimulating atmosphere; and this is as true of how companies treat applicants as they do their existing staff.

“Employers who are more attentive from the start of the application process, both in terms of speed of response and in the detail of their communication, are far more likely to leave a positive and lasting impression on jobseekers that will in turn translate into a happier workplace.”

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