Nearly nine out of ten, or 86 percent, of millennials (those between the ages of 22 and 37) would consider taking a pay cut to work at a company whose mission and values align with their own, according to LinkedIn’s latest Workplace Culture report. By comparison, only 9 percent of baby boomers (those between the ages of 54 and 72) would.
“It’s important for people to be able to bring their full selves to work,” Nina McQueen, LinkedIn vice president of benefits and experience, tells CNBC Make It. “As people’s work and personal lives become more intertwined than ever before, there has been an increased expectation that the companies we work for have our shared values."
LinkedIn surveyed a nationally representative sample of just over 3,000 adult full-time workers in the U.S. to better understand the factors companies need to prioritize to attract and keep the most talented workers, and it finds near consensus on some key issues. Nearly 90 percent of employees think it matters that they're able to be proud of the company they work for, for example. "Professionals are proudest to work at companies that promote work-life balance and flexibility (51 percent)," the report notes.
In a similar vein, one of the top reasons workers say they would stay at their jobs for more than five years is benefits like having access to paid time off, parental leave and health insurance.
At the same time, millennials are the least likely to say they would leave their current job if their employer were to ask them to do something they would find morally or ethically questionable. Only 31 percent would feel compelled to quit under those circumstances, compared to 40 percent of Gen X professionals and 51 percent of baby boomers.
Still, as McQueen notes, the overwhelming share of millennials who would consider taking a pay cut to work for an employer that they are more aligned with ideologically demonstrates their dedication to maintaining their values even in the workplace. “While earning potential is always going to be an important aspect of a job, the company’s culture is what motivates and inspires workers on a daily basis,” McQueen says.
Ideology may not matter equally to workers to all ages, but atmosphere and reputation do: 70 percent of all working professionals agree that they would reject a job at a top company if the employer were known for having a bad workplace culture.
“Cultivating an environment where all employees feel like they belong is the secret weapon for retention,” McQueen says.
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