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Is salary more important than good culture at work?

Is salary more important than good culture at work?

It has long been said that a strong, supportive company culture is the key to happiness in the workplace, however a poll of over 4,800 people employed within UK organisations of all sizes by MHR International, the HR, payroll and finance experts, has found that seven in ten would sacrifice the support of a good manager for a higher pay packet.

In fact, salary far outranks all experiential benefits on the list of employee priorities, including company culture, perks, and development opportunities, with 60% of the 4,800 people polled deeming pay to be their top motivating factor when looking for a new role. Accordingly, a similar majority (62%) of employees would choose receiving 10% extra salary over having a strong, positive company culture.

These findings come as Britons navigate an increasingly fraught financial landscape. With households on course to be £1,000 worse off this year due to soaring food and energy bills, securing a better salary is front of mind for many employees as they and their families tighten their belts. Wellness at work, while long synonymous with physical and mental health, is now becoming intertwined with financial wellbeing, leading to even greater value being placed on remuneration.

Mark Jenkins, CFO, MHR, said:

“Salary has always been a key consideration, but these findings paint a clear picture. Businesses need to understand the drivers behind ever-more competitive salary offerings in order to tap into the evolving needs of their workforce as the cost of living surges. There is little point in employers simply offering a pay rise if the impact of the increase doesn’t go far in the real world. Instead, companies must provide a range of financial wellbeing benefits, such as flexible pay, to empower employees to take charge of their financial situation.”

Whilst these findings reflect a competitive job market that is driving salary increases across all sectors, HR leaders concerned about the impact of the Great Resignation in their own firms need-not despair: for almost two-thirds (63%) of employees, a 10% pay rise would not be enough to tempt them away from a job they loved. This suggests that competitors would have to offer a much more substantial salary increase to successfully attract the best talent, and that there is still value in offering employees a strong company culture and structured learning and development opportunities to complement earnings. 

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