Workers take more pride in skills than a paycheck

The Numbers:

  • Nearly 80% of respondents to a recent poll said they take pride in their professional skills — far more than the 46% who said they take pride in their compensation. The poll, conducted by FundRocket, surveyed 1,010 full-time employees.
  • After skill level, employees said they took the most pride in their product or service, their reputation and their self-reliance. Many also took pride in their workload completion. Workers took less pride in pay, work attire, position level and the opinions of their peers and family.
  • In other findings, results showed that those working in education, healthcare and science were the most likely to believe their employers made positive contributions to society — something in which FundRocket said modern professionals are increasingly interested.

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The bottom line:

Given these survey results, employers may need to work to ensure candidates and employees see the value in their work. Employees want to understand how their work advances their employer's goals, Steve Van Valin, founder and CEO of Culturology, previously told HR Dive. Mission and value statements are nice, but purpose needs to be discussed in daily work conversations, he said.
It's also notable that FundRocket's respondents took pride in workload completion. Employers are increasingly realizing that long to-do lists and overwhelming deadlines can lead to burnout, which can create fatigue and chronic health conditions that increases absenteeism and health care costs. In fact, 94% of U.S. and U.K. workers in a 2018 Wrike study reported suffering from work-related stress, at a cost of between $450 and $550 billion in lost productivity. HR can work with managers to ensure that workloads are reasonable.
Finally, employers also should note that workers aren't particularly proud of their position level. A study released last year by LaSalle Network found that while 65% of millennials were satisfied with their job, less than half were happy with their career path. With career development driving employee satisfaction and many workers open to outside job opportunities, employers may need to prioritize helping workers map their career paths.