Money is no longer the biggest incentive in selecting a job

Kellie Ell
Franziska & Tom Werner | Getty Images

Money, it appears, no longer is the biggest thing motivating people to go to work every day.

At least those are the results of a new survey out from insurer MetLife, which found that nine out of 10 people would choose a company with similar values over a job that pays more. And they are willing to take a pretty big pay cut to make sure those values align with their own.

The average pay cut employees were willing to take was 21 percent. The findings were not limited to high-wage earners: People who made less than $50,000 a year also said they still were willing to part with at least some of their salaries for the right company.

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"Work is increasingly becoming part of people's identity," says Jon Richter, vice president of corporate citizenship for MetLife. "As work and life blend together, work becomes part of a person's personal brand. People want the workplace to support them and how they view life."

The survey asked more than 1,000 employees over the age of 21 in a variety of industries what they look for when selecting a place of employment. Three-quarters said they want a company that both supports them financially and acts as a good corporate citizen by demonstrating that it cares about the community and well-being of its people.

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The most notable demographic was millennials, who said they would work for 34 percent less if it was for a company that supports their views. That's more than double the amount of pay Baby Boomers would be willing to give up.

"Millennials care about having an employer be more than just a paycheck," Richter says. "They want to make a positive difference in the world and carry that into the workplace. It's an extension of who they are."

Both employees and companies benefit from having shared values, the survey found. Three-quarters of those who worked for a company with similar values reported higher levels of satisfaction with their jobs, were more loyal to their companies and were more likely to stay with the company long term.

"There's a tangible bottom-line business impact when employees and companies values match," Richter says. "The companies that are most likely to succeed have to understand the importance of this."

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This article originally appeared on USA Today.

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