Most workers care more about right job than right salary

Since the Great Resignation left employers struggling to keep workers in seats, they’ve been paying over market to attract and retain talent. 


According to Morgan McKinley’s 2023 Salary Guide, 69% of global employers offered higher-than-expected salaries to attract new employees in the past 12 months. 

But chucking money at the problem is no use, new research shows. 

Oracle surveyed 3,000 employees and HR leaders across the U.S., U.K., and Australia, and found that despite current economic uncertainty and the soaring cost of living, 55% of workers care more about having the right job than the right salary.

What’s more, 88% would still walk away from a job that doesn’t meet their expectations, even during a recession.

So leaders that thought they could buy their employee’s loyalty will be disappointed.  

Instead, employers need to prioritize their employee experience—“or risk losing profits and market share”, Oracle’s researchers caution. 

Like inflation, employee expectations are on the up

As inflation rises and so too does the fear of a global recession, leaders may have hoped that workers’ expectations would lower. Yet Oracle’s research shows exactly the opposite is happening. 

Employee expectations for pay, flexibility, and training are increasing, in line with their fears about the future.

According to the research, around half of workers are worried about job stability, burnout and having to reduce their standard of living. At the same time, 85% are concerned about the impact of the current economy on their careers and think it was easier to be successful before the pandemic.

Despite these fears, employees reported that they want pay raises to meet inflation, flexible work options and more learning and development opportunities from their employer. To top it off, workers also want their voices heard and to have clearly defined goals to feel valued.

The risk of not getting the employee experience right 

Ultimately even with above-average salaries and all the money that organizations have thrown at one-off bonuses and perks during the pandemic, the research shows that employees are still feeling like (well-paid) cogs in the machine. 

In the long term, this can lower productivity, increase turnover and even damage the brand.

Still, the research reveals that nearly all of the leaders surveyed already know this, and so their lack of action demonstrates that employers are either not listening to their staff’s concerns, or worse, don’t care. 

But, as Oracle Cloud’s SVP Yvette Cameron warns: “If something doesn’t change soon, it could have a serious impact on the businesses’ bottom line.”

This suggests it may be time for employers to listen and address employees’ concerns, from flexible working to career growth, instead of chucking money at the problem—or risk another year of watching the revolving door of workers walking out.

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