Salary is important, but so too is workplace culture, new survey reveals

New research has discovered what many already knew, namely that pay is the top priority among construction and property professionals when it comes to either staying on in a job or looking to move to a new one.

Yet the study, conducted by recruitment firm Hays Construction & Property, found that workplace culture was also an important factor, with more than half (51%) of respondents willing to take a pay cut in order to work somewhere they found agreeable.

Encouragingly for those who urge greater training across the industry, nearly half (46%) would turn down a job if no training was offered, while ambition was higher in the sector than the UK average, with more than a fifth (23%) aspiring to reach director level and above positions.

Nearly three-quarters (73%) of construction workers placed importance on training and developing when looking for a new role. Yet with more than two-thirds (69%) of construction firms saying they offered external training and more than four-fifths (82%) offering on-the-job training, only 43% of employees reported receiving external training and only 47% said they received on-the-job training.   

More than a third of construction workers (39%) said they were dissatisfied or indifferent towards their current role, and more than half (52%) said their work-life balance was average, poor or terrible.

Richard Gelder, director at Hays Construction & Property, said it was “encouraging” that the UK construction workforce was more ambitious than the average, and employers needed to ensure they were looking for ways to nurture this, offering the work-life balance that their employees want.

“Whilst pay remains the focus for construction workers when staying in a role or moving jobs, employers need to be aware of the other factors influencing employees’ decisions.

“With over half of an employee’s decision to stay or move roles focused on culture, career progression and benefits, employers must find ways to communicate these more effectively, and create workplaces to attract talented staff.”