Money doesn't buy happiness at work

By Frank Chung

Culture and values matter more than money to most employees, study finds. Photo / File
Culture and values matter more than money to most employees, study finds. Photo / File

Whether you're cleaning the toilets or sitting in the boardroom, one thing doesn't change: the culture and values of your workplace matter more than how much you're being paid.

At least, that's if you believe a new study by Glassdoor, which attempted to answer the question of whether workplace priorities shift as employees earn more.

According to a commonly cited study by Princeton University, higher income increases happiness, but only up to about US$75,000 ($99,000) - after that, higher pay doesn't make us that much happier.

"We also know money matters for workplace satisfaction," writes Glassdoor's Patrick Wong.

"Our research shows higher pay is statistically linked to higher job satisfaction, but the impact is small. To most workers, pay matters much less than other factors like culture and values, career opportunities, and the quality of senior leadership."

The study, based on a sample of 615,000 users of the website, found culture and values and senior leadership mattered most to employees, with compensation and benefits and work-life balance ranked the lowest.

It also found that, as pay rises, some factors increase in importance and others decrease.

"Three factors become less important as pay rises: compensation and benefits, work-life balance, and business outlook for the company over the next six months," Wong writes.

"Three factors matter more to workers as pay rises: culture and values, the quality of senior leadership, and career opportunities."

For employees earning less than US$40,000 a year, culture and values ranked 21.6 per cent in importance, rising to 23.4 per cent for those earning more than US$120,000 a year.

"For job seekers, this suggests that finding satisfaction at work has less to do with pay, and more to do with broader workplace factors. Although pay is important, it is not among the main drivers of workplace happiness," Wong writes.

"Instead, the big drivers of job satisfaction are working in a company that shares your cultural values, that offers a meaningful career arc, and that has senior leaders you support and believe in."

- news.com.au

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf03 at 28 May 2017 20:56:21 Processing Time: 52ms