Values Over Money

April 17, 2018

Do values matter more than money? 9 out of 10 people would turn down a higher salary in order to work for a company with similar values, according to a 2017 MetLife survey. On average, survey respondents were willing to take a 21% pay cut to be sure their employer's values align with their own.

It’s not just Millennials who are willing to take a lower salary. While Millennials were willing to take the largest pay cuts, respondents of all ages, including Gen Xers and Baby Boomers, indicated a willingness to sacrifice income for value alignment. These findings reflect a fundamental shift in how professionals think about work– and underscore the importance of employers re-thinking their recruitment and retention strategies.

How Sustainability Gives Employers a Competitive Edge for Recruitment

Competition for talent in today’s market is fierce. 68% of HR professionals are experiencing difficulty recruiting candidates for full-time positions, according to the Society for Human Resource Management. And with competitors seeking the same in-demand skill sets, retaining the talent you have invested in training is of the utmost importance. Sustainability initiatives enable companies to set themselves apart and keep their workforce engaged.

A deep, values-driven commitment to sustainability is on the rise among employers and their workforces, says Lauren Kelly, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Irvine Company Office Properties. Green office space is no longer optional– it’s an essential.

Just as prospective employees are placing greater emphasis on sustainability as a corporate value, so too are employers. The idea that sustainability is now a value – not just a strategy for cutting operational expenses – reflects a key corporate attitude shift. In fact, leading-edge companies now say that the driving force behind their sustainability initiatives is alignment with their core mission and values, not cost-cutting. This rise correlates with the increasing number of CEOs – more than a third and rising as of 2014 – who cite sustainability as a key priority.

When executive leadership makes sustainability a value priority, employees' responses are overwhelmingly positive. These companies also report higher engagement on sustainability throughout their organizations, which aids in employee retention.

Research from both Bain and McKinsey backs this up. Nearly a quarter of companies that hold sustainability as a core value consider it one of the most important factors in recruitment and retention.

Employees engaged in their company’s mission go the extra mile, act as brand ambassadors, and deliver more consistent and productive outputs. Keep these high performers engaged with a strong commitment to core values and they will, in turn, help you recruit even more top talent– even in tight talent markets.

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