UK Adults Prioritise Workplace Culture Over Salary

Forget high salaries and a generous holiday allowance, a Glassdoor survey has revealed that 75 per cent of adults would consider a company’s culture as a priority before applying to a job. (


Surveying over 1,000 adults in the UK and a further 4,000 in the U.S., France and Germany, Glassdoor found that 77 per cent of people would consider a company’s mission and purpose before applying for a job there, with 57 per cent saying workplace culture is in fact more important than salary when it comes to job satisfaction.


The survey also uncovers the importance of culture and company mission to recruitment and retention, as well as the extent to which job seekers are now looking for employers whose values align with their own values


“Having a compelling mission, culture and values are critical when it comes to attracting and retaining top talent in a competitive job market – it is what differentiates each and every employer,” said Christian Sutherland-Wong, Glassdoor President and COO. “It’s clear that job seekers are seeking more meaningful workplace experiences. Job seekers want to be paid fairly but they too want to work for a company whose values align with their own and whose mission they can fully get behind.”


Culture Over Cash

While the majority of UK adults place culture above salary when it comes to job satisfaction, company culture significantly matters more among younger adults. Two-thirds of millennials, or 66 per cent, put culture above salary, compared to just over half of those above 55 years old. This revelation perhaps indicates that today’s young workforce want to feel part of a more meaningful pursuit, meaning employers need to invest in an attractive culture and proposition to attract and retain this younger demographic.


75 per cent would consider a company’s culture before applying for a job, suggesting that a negative perception around culture could significantly impact the appeal of a role. Furthermore, 69 per cent would not apply to a company unless its values aligned with their own personal values. For companies scrambling for the talent of today, this highlights the importance for an employer to clearly define and communicate their values, as well as demonstrate that they are living up to them.


When it comes to retention, 63 percent of UK adults say their company’s culture is one of the main reasons for staying in their job, while 70 percent would look for a job elsewhere if their current company’s culture deteriorates.



89 per cent of UK adults in the workplace believe it is important for an employer to have a clear purpose, demonstrating just how important a well-defined mission is to recruitment. 60 per cent of employed UK adults say their company’s mission is one of the main reasons they stay in their job.


In a sign that company mission may be top of the list for jobseekers, 78 per cent of UK adults believe employers are becoming more mission-driven to recruit and retain talent. (



According to millions of reviews shared voluntarily and anonymously by employees for the purpose of the survey, Glassdoor found that the culture and values of an organisation are the strongest predictors of employer satisfaction, followed by quality senior leadership and career opportunities.


“A common misperception among many employers today is that pay and work-life balance are among the top factors driving employee satisfaction,” said Dr. Andrew Chamberlain, Glassdoor Chief Economist. “We find little support for this notion in the data. Instead, employers looking to boost recruiting and retention efforts should prioritise building strong company culture and value systems, amplifying the quality and visibility of their senior leadership teams and offering clear, exciting career opportunities to employees.”


Of the factors that are most important to candidates when considering a new position is culture and values, senior leadership and career opportunities – interestingly, all appearing to be of greater importance than salary and work-life balance.