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Many of Us Want to Change Jobs – But Not for the Money

Almost half of America’s employees are searching for new jobs, but they’re looking for more than money — and that might be the best financial decision they’ll make.

Better benefits took the No. 2 spot on a survey from human resources company Aon Hewitt, but just barely. A fun place to work took third.

Surprised? We aren’t. Pew says millennials are the largest generation in the workforce right now, and young people care less about money and more about making an impact on a company. But according to Aon, they also care about their financial futures, like health insurance and 401(k)s — benefits that make a much bigger difference to their bottom line than a little more cash.

“Encouraged by low unemployment rates and frustrated with lackluster wage increases, many U.S. workers are looking for new and better jobs,” says Ray Baumruk, employee research leader at Aon Hewitt. “In many cases, employees are being selective about the kinds of companies they work for — favoring those that offer exceptional experiences and benefits that align with their personal values.”

When it comes to what workers want in a company, more money just barely makes the top spot, with 62 percent. Equally as important at 61 percent, many employees want better benefits.

While this may impact their current finances, it means employees are thinking a little more long-term. Benefits like health insurance could make a medical emergency much more affordable, and a matching 401(k) gives employees incentive to save for retirement because hey, free money. A high salary is a major factor in changing jobs, but it’s not always the most important.

It’s not all about the Benjamins

Salary is No. 1 and benefits are No.2, but what else do workers want out of a job? Most — 58 percent —say they would switch jobs for “a fun place to work.”

There is some logic to this too: Loving your job may very well get you a higher paycheck. Research shows if you hate where you work, you could end up making thousands of dollars less than those who don’t.

Employees also care about work/life balance, with 57 percent of respondents wanting a flexible work environment. Many value a company that can work with their schedules, whether it’s for family matters, personal responsibilities, or activities that just aren’t as stressful as long work hours. There are plenty of companies that put flexibility as one of their top benefits because they know how much employees value it.

Engagement and communication are just as important for keeping employees. The Aon survey says the more employees are encouraged to share their thoughts and ideas at work, the more likely they will be engaged within the company.

“To keep and attract the highest performers, employers need an authentic employee value proposition that sets them apart from competitors,” Baumruk says. “Even more importantly, organizations must listen to their employees to understand and foster a culture where employees’ expectations and desires are closely aligned with the employment experience they offer.”

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