Culture Over Cash? Glassdoor Survey Finds More Than Half Of Employees Prioritize Workplace Culture Over Salary

Glassdoor, one of the largest job and recruiting sites, released a survey measuring sentiment around mission and culture in the workplace today, along with the level of importance of both.

Glassdoor surveyed more than 5,000 adults across four countries: the United States, United Kingdom, France and Germany.

Among key findings, Glassdoor found that 77% of adults would consider a company’s culture before applying for a job there, and more than half, 56%, say company culture is more important than salary when it comes to job satisfaction. In addition to asking people the extent to which they value culture at work, 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.

“Having a compelling mission, culture and values are critical when it comes to attracting and retaining top talent in a competitive job market – it is what differentiates each and every employer,” says Christian Sutherland-Wong, Glassdoor president and COO. “Job seekers want to be paid fairly but they too want to work for a company whose values align with their own and whose mission they can fully get behind.”

Culture Is PrioritizedWhile the majority of participants place culture above salary when it comes to job satisfaction, the survey shows company culture matters significantly more among younger adults. Millennials are more likely to place culture above salary than those age 45 and older in two of the four countries surveyed – U.S. (65% for Millennials versus 52% age 45 and older).

Company culture can be a critical factor for job seekers when applying and when deciding whether to stay with a company. More than three-quarters, 77%, of adults would consider a company’s culture before applying for a job, suggesting that a negative perception around culture could significantly impact ability and efficiency to fill open jobs. Nearly three-quarters, 73%, of adults would not apply to a company unless its values aligned with their own personal values.

When it comes to retention, nearly 65% of employees say their company’s culture is one of the main reasons for staying in their job.

Recruiting Needs To Be Mission-MindedAn overwhelming 89% of adults believe it is important for an employer to have a clear mission and purpose. Sixty-six percent of employees believe people are more motivated and engaged because of the strong company mission where they work, and 64% say their company’s mission is a main reason they stay in their job.

In a sign that company mission may be top of mind for job seekers, 77% of adults believe employers are becoming more mission-driven to recruit and retain talent.

Culture is a Key Driver of Employee SatisfactionCoinciding with this survey, Glassdoor Economic Research published a report on the leading drivers of employee satisfaction across the five countries.

According to millions of reviews shared voluntarily and anonymously by employees on Glassdoor, across four of the five countries studied, the culture and values of a company are the strongest predictors of employee satisfaction, followed by quality senior leadership and career opportunities.

“A common misperception among many employers today is that pay and work-life balance are among the top factors driving employee satisfaction,” says Andrew Chamberlain, Glassdoor chief economist. “We find little support for this notion in Glassdoor data. Instead, employers looking to boost recruiting and retention efforts should prioritize building strong company culture and value systems, amplifying the quality and visibility of their senior leadership teams and offering clear, exciting career opportunities to employees.”