Young Professionals Prioritize Quality of Work-Life Over Salary



Coworkers in a modern officeA new survey shows that young people in today’s workforce prioritize better workplace conditions over money. In fact, 58% of Millennials surveyed reported that they would choose an improved quality of work life over a salary bump if given the choice.

According to the study conducted by Fidelity research, young employees would be willing to take a $7,600 pay cut in order to improve their work environment. “Clearly, many young professionals are thinking about more than money and are willing to sacrifice a portion of their salary in exchange for a career move that more closely aligns with their values or passions or improves their work-life balance,” stated Kristen Robinson, senior vice president of Fidelity’s Women and Young Investors.

This stacking of priorities makes sense when one considers the amount of time professionals spend in the workplace these days. In the United States, people tend to be at work at least 1,896 hours per year.

Think about it this way: income gives a person the resources to improve life outside of work. However, when one is spending so much time in the workplace, quality of life in that sphere becomes almost more important. A high salary is not going to improve life within the workplace, so starting off with better working conditions becomes priority.

There has been a clear shift in the factors that motivate professionals in the working world. Money is still a driving force in keeping employees productive, but something even more powerful is emerging as a top motivator in the workplace. According to new research from BambooHR in March 2016, employee recognition is just as rewarding for workers as money.

Researchers found that a simple promotion to a higher job title without a corresponding salary raise is extremely effective in motivating employees. In fact, the survey found that one in five respondents would prefer to receive a higher title and no raise than a small raise with no change in job title.

Clearly, employees just want to be recognized for their contributions and hard work. As many as 94% of employees who receive daily positive recognition from their supervisor say they are satisfied with their job.

“What we see from this survey is that people simply want to know that their managers and executives really care,” said CEO of BambooHr, Ben Peterson. “They want to know what’s expected of them versus what’s exceptional, and how to differentiate between the two. They want to be rewarded and recognized thoughtfully and meaningfully. It’s that simple.”

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