Everyone has probably heard the phrase “money cannot buy happiness,” and many argue the validity of that statement. However, it’s hard to deny that compensation is a major factor for employees when looking for a career. Differentiating employees who seek only adequate salaries and those that seek a staff-friendly workplace is important in establishing a satisfied and productive team.

Several factors can determine whether or not an employee sees a company as viable, with considerations such as hours, location, style of management, and of course, wages. Measuring these however, can be much more difficult. While many potential employees flee at the sight of a starting salary lower than what they had in mind, a surprising amount of those currently working value their companies’ values and and culture more than just pay.

In a study conducted by Gallup, an impressive 63% of employees stated that they would continue working in their current positions even after winning a $10 million lottery, showing the importance of a great workplace, and how that can mean much more to your staff than simply offering competent salaries. Taking recent trends into consideration, this shouldn’t surprise most people.

Workers today typically care about the the goals of companies, their values, and how they can become a part of the team without blending in as just another employee. Material gains, while beneficial, are not strong determining factors in one’s happiness. According to the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a 2010 study showed that an annual income of $75,000 or higher may provide better quality of life, but not emotional well-being. Salaries beyond that tend to see a change in an employee’s priorities.

As an employee’s income reaches higher levels, his or her concern regarding the company’s core values and practices increase accordingly, suggesting that employees in higher positions want the businesses they work for to reflect positively in the public eye. Similarly, higher level employees care more about who they work for, and their most senior peers’ styles of management. These workers clearly place more emphasis on the culture of the businesses they work for, and how this fairs for them in the long run.

Conversely, the balance between work and personal life has shown a decrease for those earning higher salaries. This may be due to the fact that employees who make more money are more willing to devote their personal time to the cause of their employers. While this may seem beneficial, it typically reflects negatively on those employees’ personal lives. A lower quality of life at home can directly affect an employee’s work ethic, effectiveness, and general well-being, thus hurting your business.

 
In conclusion, focusing on your company’s culture without having to compromise pay is the most ideal route for you to take. That is not say however, that business should not focus on compensation and benefits, but rather provide flexibility in those fields. Offering competitive pay and benefits packages is, as always, key in attracting the best talent for your company. Once you’ve established that, providing transparency in your organization’s culture, values, and goals is extremely important, as more and more employees today would prefer working for those that share their passions rather than pay them millions.