Home Employees value satisfaction over money, according to survey

Employees value satisfaction over money, according to survey


moneyCan money buy happiness? Some believe so, others think otherwise. But who is right? Surprisingly, both are. Money brings happiness, but only to some extent.


Studies into the Relationship between Money and Happiness

Let us start with the first. A Marist Institute for Public Opinion study surveyed 1,235 people and found that people with more money are generally happier than those with less. The study further revealed that the magic number here is $50,000 dollars a year. Earn less than this salary and your happiness diminishes, earn higher and it increases.

But while it is true that happiness increases when the salary tops $50,000, it stops when it reaches $75,000. Any amount above this number has no further effect on your sense of well-being, according to a 2010 Princeton study. We can infer from these two numbers that the sweet spot in the relationship between money lies somewhere in between.


What Do Employees Value Instead of Money?

A Glassdoor survey conducted on 615,000 people found that employee satisfaction is not dependent on salary. Apparently, employees value career advancement, compensation and work benefits, and culture. They also value senior leadership, the balance between work and life, and business outlook. Companies that would like to know what drives their employees would be wise to hire the services of an employee survey company. An insightlink.com employee survey will tell HR exactly what makes your employees tick so that you can adjust your management style accordingly.


Which Workplace Factors Matter the Most?

The Glassdoor survey placed culture and values at the top of the workplace factors responsible for happiness. It is closely followed by leadership and career opportunities in that order. Next to these two factors comes business outlook and then work-life balance. The least important factor for employee satisfaction is compensation and work benefits.


Do These Factors Change in Importance When Salaries Increase?

As an employee’s pay changes, the importance he or she places on the above workplace factors also changes. For instance, compensation and benefits remains the least important factor regardless of your pay. As a matter of fact, its importance reduces when you earn more.

The priority you place on work-life balance also reduces if you get a pay rise. At a salary scale of $120,000 a year, it replaces compensation and benefits at the bottom of the pile. This means that people who earn more are willing to sacrifice more of their leisure time to work.

A favorable business outlook of the organization you work for remains relatively stable whatever your pay is. And although it decreases when you earn more, the reduction is too slight to matter.

In contrast, culture and values, the quality of leaders you work for, and your chances at career advancement remain important even when you take home a bigger salary. In fact, their importance increases. Take working for an organization with a work culture and value system you admire. The more you earn, the more you value this factor.

The same applies to the quality of your organization’s leadership. You appreciate working under great leaders when you earn more. Finally, it goes without saying that the bigger your paycheck, the more value you place on your career. As a result, you are keener on career opportunities that are open to you.



This may come as a surprise to many employers but pay and benefits do not guarantee employee satisfaction. Although good pay is important, workers also value an organization’s culture and values. They also want to work under good leaders in a company that has a good business outlook and career opportunities. Being compensated well for their efforts is also important. And finally, they are happiest when they can balance their work and private life.



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