Eight in ten British workers said they would reject a big salary increase if they were to work with people they didn’t like or in an environment they didn’t enjoy. The study of employees’ work attitudes conducted by the AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians) revealed that Britain’s workforce value getting on with colleagues and bosses and enjoying the job more than pay.
Among the most important factors employees consider in a job include responsibility, recognition and colleagues, with pay being the sixth biggest factor for people sticking with their existing job. Overall, respondents said they would like to have greater responsibility in their job, however 15% of employees said they dislike their jobs because the nature of the work was boring and unrewarding or senior staff did not appreciate them.
More than 25% of workers turned down a job promotion or opportunity because this would entail spending less time with their family. Also, a third of employees had quitted their job despite it being well paid, because they didn’t deem it worth the extra stress. Almost 75% of respondents said they would hardly accept a job if it involved added pressure.
UK Workers’ Top Priorities
In a nutshell, British people prioritized the following as their ‘wants’ in a job:
- Making a difference
- The job itself
- Learning new things
- Being challenged
- The work environment
Reasons for staying at their current job:
- I have a good relationship with my colleagues
- I enjoy the job role
- I have a good relationship with my boss
- I don’t have another job to go to
- The commute is manageable
- The pay
- I have a good relationship with my clients
- I feel I have the chance to develop my career
- I’m good at the job
- I am not under much stress
Mark Farrar, AAT’s Chief Executive stated: "It’s interesting how much status and recognition play a big part in happiness at work alongside the promise of progression and building towards something more. This is why we always encourage people to take control of their careers by retraining or via other methods, to ensure ultimately they find something that fulfils them."
Money is not as an Alluring Motivator as it Used to be
Previous reports have also shown that the bonus culture established in the British corporate world as means to motivate employees, does not any longer fulfil its purpose. A study by the HR magazine found that a bonus or other financial incentives do not necessarily motivate staff as only 13% claimed that they felt motivated by a financial reward. Among the 1000 that were surveyed, almost 60% identified the enjoyment of the job as the most important motivator.
The study also indicated that workplace environments and the support and feedback received from senior staff are encouraging employees to go the extra mile. As a result, workplace and management capability are more effective drivers of focus and commitment than costly bonuses.
All in all, it seems that people make the most significant factor in work happiness. Relationships with colleagues and managers as well as self-worth are more important to British workers than a higher salary. This means that working with good people or in a role that makes them feel valued outweighs an outstanding monetary compensation.
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