What is your salary really worth? The truth about happiness at work and your income


In a study of 2,285 American professionals at a variety of pay levels across 26 industries, 9 out of 10 employees said they would be willing to trade a percentage of their lifetime earnings to do more meaningful work – BetterUp, Meaning and Purpose at Work report (2018).

What is your salary really worth? The truth about happiness at work and your income

Additionally, more people are discovering that it’s more important to have a job where they experience high levels of engagement and one that supports their lifestyle, as opposed to a salary increase. Salary is, of course, important. However, it’s not the only currency nor provides a complete picture when it comes to our happiness at work or life in general.

The ideal household income is...

Gallup reported on a study conducted by renowned economist Angus Deaton, and Nobel prize-winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman, both from Princeton University. The two analysed more than 450,000 responses from the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index (GHWBI), a daily survey that asks roughly 1,000 U.S. residents questions about their wellbeing. They discovered that an annual household income of $75,000 (£57,000) is the sweet spot when it comes to our emotional wellbeing.

"No matter where you live, your emotional wellbeing is as good as it's going to get at $75,000,” says Dr Deaton. “And money's not going to make it any better beyond that point. It's like you hit some sort of ceiling, and you can't get emotional wellbeing much higher just by having more money."

Happiness at work means more than your salary

Hours and schedule flexibility are both important when it comes to work satisfaction. Being able to leave the office early to pick up the kids or being able to work remotely while commuting to work are big pluses for many employees.

Financial wellness is another critical factor. And financial wellness means more than merely earning a big salary.

In partnership with leading economists, psychologists and other scientists, Gallup studied wellbeing in more than 98% of the world's population. It discovered that managing one’s own economic life to reduce stress and increase security was one of the top common elements that people need to thrive in their lives.

Therefore, companies would be wise to show their employees the total value of their compensation. Without the knowledge of their full compensation, employees may be missing out a large portion of their compensation and run the risk of “chasing the rainbow”. Forbes explains that benefits can play a significant role in the larger financial picture. For example, Google’s free breakfast, lunch and dinner can add up to over $10k on top of your salary.

The benefit of offering benefits

Our Employee Happiness Index (2018) surveyed more than 20,000 employees and HR leaders across a variety of industries. The anonymous survey collected insights across a number of areas including benefits, rewards, personal finances, employee engagement and more. The data revealed a clear correlation between benefit satisfaction and workplace engagement. Workplaces with low benefit satisfaction are likely to suffer from poor engagement. Likewise, workplaces with high satisfaction are likely to experience corresponding levels of high engagement.

For job seekers, next time you’re negotiating a job, be sure to look at the full value of your offer. For example, do you have the ability to work from home when needed? Do you have flexible hours? Does your compensation package also include various insurances, pensions, as well as other perks?

As explained in the Cornell University student blog post Happiness through Employee Benefits: The Cost of Doing Business (2018): “Companies need to focus on providing support for their employees, making them feel valued, reducing stress and giving them an opportunity to do things outside of the workplace which makes them happy. In recent years, we have seen more companies opt for providing their employees with happiness benefits.”

Do your employees feel that you support them and are they aware of their total reward?

This article is provided by Benify.


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