This was the interesting question posed on a YouGov survey and the results were good reading.
They asked people “would you rather be in a job you hate that pays well, or a job you love that pays poorly?”.
64% of respondents would prefer a job that they love that paid poorly, with 18% saying that they would choose high pay and a job that they hate.
We think that’s pretty reassuring. We know that there is a significant detrimental impact to productivity, innovation, tenure, attendance etc when employees are disengaged with their role. Money is only a short term motivator, and whilst it may be appealing initially, the reality of having to do a job that you hate day after day is somewhat less attractive. Unfortunately, the dread of a hated job will last much longer than the excitement of the high pay.
It’s great to know that the majority of people in this poll would choose to do something that they love, we spend so much of our adult lives at work that it’s really important to enjoy it.
Interestingly, the reality of the situation is that only 3% of respondents report that they are in a job they love but that pays poorly, and just 2% in a job they hate, paying well.
What does this mean for employers and managers? Pretty much all jobs include aspects that people dislike, but we need to tap into the aspects of the role that people love. Ask the question, “why?”: why did you choose this job, this career, this company? This helps us to tap into the things that we love the most, those are the things to focus on and to try and build more upon. Sometimes we just need a little nudge to remind us that there was a reason for taking our job role, to help us re-find the old passion.