70% of professionals refused to work at leading companies if it meant enduring a bad work culture, a new LinkedIn study found
Employees value work culture over money.
Seven in 10 professionals refused to work at a top company if it meant having to endure a bad office environment — outranking other reasons like lower pay and missing out on a better title, according to a new LinkedIn survey on how workplace culture is affecting retention.
The job search and networking site teamed up with Censuswide research to poll 3,010 adult full-time workers, asking them what they value most in an employer, reasons why they stay or leave jobs, and how leadership impacts employee experience. Having a bad workplace culture topped the list of factors workers wouldn’t tolerate, beating out earning less pay (65%) and having a fancy job title (26%).
Workers also valued feeling comfortable at the office: 51% were proudest to clock in for employers that promote work-life balance and flexibility, while 47% of those who were proud of their company chalked it up to a culture where they can be themselves. Among those who weren’t proud of their company, the biggest con (60%) was a lack of strong and inspiring leadership.
Company culture has a major impact on whether or not someone stays at a job, particularly young people. Millennials are willing to take a $7,600 pay cut on average for better “quality of life” at work, according to a separate report from Fidelity Pay-Cut, such as flexible hours, the option to work remotely and paid leave. And some are even willing to relocate, with 86% of millennials reporting that they would move elsewhere for another job if it meant better work vibes, compared to 77% of Americans in general, according to a 2016 Kelton Global consultancy survey.
Being happy at work also leads to greater productivity, despite assumptions that suggest stress and pressure motivate workers to perform faster or better. Another study found that workers who are satisfied with their office environment are up to 20% more productive than those who are unhappy. And sales people in particular can raise their sales by 37%.
Being in a hostile workplace can be physically and mentally straining, too. Health care expenditures at stressful, high-pressure companies are nearly 50% greater than at other employers, according to the American Psychological Association. The APA estimates that more than $500 billion from the U.S. economy goes toward workplace stress-related issues, while 550 million workdays are lost due to job stress.
The No. 1 factor that nearly half of respondents (47%) in the LinkedIn study said would most likely motivate them to keep a job for five or more years is having co-workers whom they enjoy working with and can be themselves around. Having an employer that gives back was also important for workers, with 46% saying they valued working for a company that has a positive impact on society.
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