Only one in ten say salary is most important factor

Harmonious relationships are becoming more important at work, research finds.

New research shows that UK workers are increasingly less motivated by traditional work rewards.

Just 12 per cent say their salary is the most important factor in their job, far behind ‘enjoying the job’ (24 per cent) and having a good relationship with colleagues (21 per cent), according to job site Indeed.

So essential is a good working environment that more than half (55 per cent) of the 2,500 adults surveyed say they would reject a big pay rise if they had to work with people or in a unpleasant environment.

Over half not happy with pay

However, UK workers are still not happy with their pay, with years of sluggish wage growth still affecting employee happiness at work. Over half (53 per cent) don’t believe 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 per cent of workers who say they 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.

Tech firms very selective

Many new and growing tech companies such as Netflix place large amounts of resources in securing the best hires they can. One Netflix employee told GrowthBusiness that permanent members of staff were called in to be interviewed a minimum of five times and freelancers were interviewed at least four times. The company is famous for saying it only hires ‘fully formed adults’.

‘The company want staff who have no ego basically. It’s a lovely place to work,’ she said.

Two thirds said they would try again for a position if they had an excellent interview experience, even if they were initially rejected.

Prospective employees say a quick response from an employer was vital, with 65 per cent rating it the most important factor in establishing trust.

Bill Richards, UK managing director of Indeed, commented, ‘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.’

Further reading on employee satisfaction

Five perks to boost employee wellness, productivity and your business

Michael Somerville

Michael Somerville

Michael was senior reporter for from 2018 to 2019.

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