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Job satisfaction more important than salary

Lisa Winnard Sesame Bankhall 2012

One of my key responsibilities as an HR director is to ensure that our employees are happy in their roles and in the company as a whole.

Ensuring there is a positive working culture means that the business retains and cultivates our employees’s talent, knowledge and skills, so that we maximise delivery of our business objectives. Investing in effective communication, meaningful development and providing our team with room to grow and personally contribute to the success of the business is our recipe to a successful working ethos across the group.

The relevance of this responsibility is made all the more important given that job satisfaction is seen as the most important component of working life.

The Financial Adviser School recently carried out research which highlighted that British workers are more interested in job satisfaction than money when selecting their career.

Almost nine out of 10 people (87 per cent) told researchers that job satisfaction is important to them when selecting a career compared with 84 per cent who rated financial reward as a key factor when making decisions about their working life.

While salary is clearly important to the majority of people when deciding which route to take in their career, it is very encouraging to see that job satisfaction is deemed to be even more influential.

The fact that the public focuses more on being content in their job is especially poignant at the moment – with the UK still in recession. To support these findings, I read recently that the war for talent is back on. Social Hire says that 31 per cent of executives are thinking about leaving their organisation this year and its research has highlighted the top five things that executives look for when considering a role. These crucial career factors are:

  • Creating challenge
  • Ensuring the role fits with their own skills and interests
  • Making work location convenient
  • Allowing input into organisation direction
  • Cultivating strong relationships with other executives

I am sure at least one of these objectives resonates with you, at whatever level you are or the particular stage you are at in your career.

When considering your future career, or possibly your next move, it makes sense to sit back and consider what job satisfaction means to you and then to carry out your own due diligence on prospective employers to ensure the job and business culture meet with your needs.

These research findings are perhaps even more meaningful to employers. Companies ought to take note and realise that creating a positive workplace and imposing achievable targets may be of greater value than a larger pay packet for some employees. With 85 per cent of women highlighting the importance of a good work/life balance when selecting a career (in comparison to 82 per cent of men) employers also need to provide opportunities for their staff to be flexible in their working life.

Lisa Winnard is director of HR and development at Sesame Bankhall Group

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