What Employees Value More Than Salary, According To Glassdoor

What Employees Value More Than Salary, According To Glassdoor
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Salary is important, but it’s not the only thing that contributes to job satisfaction. New research from Glassdoor reveals what makes people happiest at their jobs and how it varies depending on income.

Photo by startupstockphotos.com

Glassdoor wanted to see how employee values change as their income changes. What workplace factors do employees and workers value overall, and how does it change with salary increases? To answer this, Glassdoor looked at their own data: Salary reports and company reviews from over 600,000 users. They looked at six different factors: Culture and values, senior leadership, career opportunities, business outlook, work-life balance and compensation and benefits.

They used the “Shapley Value” analysis method to see how various factors change the overall outlook. They explain:

In other words, under this approach, the six workplace factors can be thought of as a “pie” in terms of predictive power of employee satisfaction. We then add and drop factors from our model, and examine how the “pie” of predictive power changes with each adjustment — how more or less important a factor is to overall satisfaction. This approach allows us to identify which factors are the most statistically “important” predictors to overall employee satisfaction.

Overall, they found that culture and values were the biggest predictor of employee satisfaction, at 22 per cent of the “pie”. Leadership quality was also important (21 per cent) along with career opportunities (18 per cent). Positive business outlook, work-life balance and compensation and benefits were actually the least impactful predictors of employee satisfaction, according to Glassdoor’s analysis.

Unsurprisingly, compensation became less important as salary increased. After all, if your salary needs are met, it’s one less factor you have to worry about. When income increased, the most valuable factors mattered even more to employees: Culture and values, the quality of senior leadership, and career opportunities.

Don’t let this data keep you from negotiating a higher salary, but if you’re looking for a job, it helps to know what other workplace traits matter. To check the report out for yourself, head to the links below.

What Matters Most in a Job When Pay Rises [Glassdoor]


  • Culture and values are all nice – but they don’t pay the mortgage. Or put food on the table, pay school fees, etc.
    Unless the company benefits include things like a company car and a competitive home loan rate, money [or the lack of it] will be the deciding factor for most people.

    • Agreed, but they do mention that culture and values are important only once salary needs are met. E.g. if you are underpaid, the culture and values likely aren’t the issue. Moreover, their culture might be bad anyways if they are underpaying employees.

    • Not the deciding factor, no. If employees can’t survive on what they are paid, nothing at all can make them stay. Once they have what they need, people will consistently take the better job over the slightly higher paying one. The more money over what they need they have, the bigger the pay difference has to be to make up for the other factors. There are tons of studies saying the same thing.

  • Having worked for some top world renowned companies, I’ve found that they often use data like this to underpay vs. market rates, by boasting about their culture and that it’s more important than high salaries… While it’s great to work in a great environment, at the end of the day, nothing causes more frustration than getting underpaid for exceptional contribution to a business.

    The contrast is companies like Seek, who offer an outstanding culture, amenities, and pay on average 7% above market rates. Good on them for seeing past the data.

    • Thanks, you said it better than I did. Mainly because I’m not sure how common that concept is among “renowned companies”.

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