You’ll have no doubt read countless articles and surveys declaring that UK employees value cultural fit or values over salary. But can that really be true? With the cost of living set to soar – everything from gas to groceries is set to rise – are we really just looking for a “nice place to work”?
Anecdotally, I’ve had many candidates tell me that the pandemic has made them reassess what they want from their job. Perhaps poor Covid policies made them feel unsafe or lack of access to technology made them feel undervalued. Whatever the source of these feelings, the last twenty months or so have given many pause for thought.
Strangely, at a time when many are reassessing things like culture and values, salaries in certain markets are due to increase significantly, if they haven’t already, This is owing to a lack of available, qualified candidates, causing businesses to use salary to compete. (So, if you are looking for a salary increase, now is a good time to get negotiating.)
But, ultimately, salary is just salary, right? What does it matter if you’re taking home more than you can spend if you’re miserable five days a week? Or do culture and values not really matter so much if you’re not in an office to experience them?
This is a question that I frequently pose to my candidates: what is more important, salary and benefits or culture and values?
More often than not, they will initially respond with “salary”, as they are looking to increase their take home or perhaps work their way up the career ladder. It is important to look at the overall package on offer and consider not only the salary but the additional perks and benefits on offer. Do these make a real difference to you or would they just be “nice to have”?
Recently, with the advent of nationwide home working, this has become a sought after perk or benefit. Many candidates simply are not interested in a job that does not offer some degree of flexibility – be that hours or location.
However, home working has made culture even more important. Because you have to work that little bit harder to connect with your colleagues virtually, or because you don’t have access to a shared space in which to feel part of a company, working somewhere that focuses on inclusion and culture is becoming increasingly attractive.
So, if you are looking for work, it is essential to consider what is most important to you. Understandably, being able to pay your bills and live comfortably is a basic human need but you should also consider things like emotional wellbeing and burnout potential. Do you “stick it out” in a poor environment for the sake of raising your basic take home or do you choose to work somewhere that offers a better culture, knowing that the salary might not be the highest on the market?
If you would like to see what Contact Centre or Multi-Lingual opportunities are available and match your career plans, I’d be delighted to help. Click here to drop me an email
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