Culture Over Cash? Do Employees Prioritize Workplace Culture Over Salary?

In a recent survey by Glassdoor that measured sentiment around mission and culture in the workplace today, they found that more than three-quarters of adults (77 percent) would consider a company’s culture before applying for a job there, and well over half (56 percent) say company culture is more important than salary when it comes to job satisfaction. The survey also uncovers the importance of culture and company mission to recruitment and retention, as well as the extent to which job seekers are now looking for employers whose values align with their own personal values.

Culture is Prioritized

While the majority of adults place culture above salary when it comes to job satisfaction, the survey shows company culture matters significantly more among younger adults. For instance, millennials are more likely to place culture above salary than those age 45 and older in two of the four countries that were surveyed – United States & the United Kingdom. These statistics can also lead employers to assume that a negative perception around culture could significantly impact ability and efficiency to fill open jobs.

Nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of adults would not apply to a company unless its values aligned with their own personal values. For companies that are fighting for talent today in an economy with a record low unemployment rate, this highlights the importance for employers to clearly define and communicate their values. Companies need to also realize that nearly two in three employees say their company’s culture is one of the main reasons for staying in their job and just over seven in ten global employees would look for a job elsewhere if their current company’s culture deteriorates.


Recruiting Needs to Be Mission-Minded

An overwhelming amount of adults (89 percent) believe that it is important for an employer to have a clear mission and purpose. A majority of employees believe that people are more motivated and engaged because of the strong company mission where they work and also say that their company mission is one of the main reasons they stay in their job. This reinstates the belief that people will stay where they feel their common values are best aligned, and proves that company culture is not something that can be bought with high salaries. It is more important than ever for companies to start investing in improving their recruiting methods to align with the results found in this survey.

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