Money is generally considered to be the most important, if not the only, factor defining the degree in which an employee is attached to his or her job. That is, the majority of people seem to be perfectly ready to apply for a well-paid job they dislike and stick to it as long as it stays well-paid, no matter what.
This idea, however, does not seem to completely reflect reality. According to the latest sociological researches the level of salary is far from being the only aspect that defines the employee’s attitude towards his or her job – it is, in fact, just one constituent part of a larger, complex concept known as job satisfaction, which includes, in addition to salary, such things as feeling of fulfillment, perceived prospects of career growth, acceptance of corporate culture, relationships with co-workers, being comfortable with management style, company hierarchical structure and so on.
However, the statement may be partially or completely true for some people, but it depends on a person in question – his or her priorities, life goals, relative importance of money, need of fulfillment and other factors in personal system of values and so on. People who value money and career over everything are much more likely to bite the bullet and do the job they hate for years on end, even if it means stress, extreme boredom and general feeling of unhappiness – the economic gains will outweigh other concerns.
In contrast to that, in case money don’t occupy the central part in an individual’s system of values, he or she may easily refuse a better-paid job in favor of another one, better meeting other requirements: for example, leaving more time to spend with family and friends, providing an opportunity for distant working, or simply a more enjoyable one.
In other words, turnover rates among employees of both large and small companies are influenced no just by salary issues, but by something much more complex and less measurable. Because what is perfectly acceptable for one person may turn out to be completely unbearable for another.
Nevertheless, there are a number of aspects that are more or less universal, although their individual importance for every particular person may vary.
Respect towards employees is probably the least tangible and the most important among them. It is comprised of such factors as lack of discrimination and sexual harassment, the degree of company’s involvement in the lives of its employees and so on.
Another equally important factor is the amount of career and development opportunities. A lot of job-hunters will be more than happy to apply for a less well-paid job if the company they are going to work for is known to provide its employees with possibilities of personal growth, acquiring new skills, climbing the career ladder and getting new responsibilities. And vice versa, if a job is well-paid but has low prospects for growth it may be attractive for those who value stability but not those who are looking to propel their careers forward.
All in all, the concept of job satisfaction is an important field of research for employers who are willing to reduce the costs of retaining their more useful employees. The most straightforward approach here is to raise their salaries; but the most straightforward decision is not always the optimal one.
Job satisfaction is a complex issue, and it allows for other, less costly methods of decreasing the employee turnover. Changes in company culture, active employee motivation, modification of management style – all these things are more than capable of making people happier about their jobs and more likely to stay in their current positions.