Companies need to respond to the changing wants of their employees in order to attract and maintain top talent. In order to do this, understanding what people value in the work setting is of utmost importance, which is why work values have become a popular topic in recent years. Studying the factors that influence work values helps in gaining deeper insights into employee well-being. It is also valuable to track work values over time in order to identify changing trends.
A quantitative research methodology was followed using secondary data from the World Values Survey (WVS). A multinomial logistic regression identified four key predictors of work values, namely: people’s relationship status; the number of children that they have; their social class; and their gender. The interaction of these variables was found to cause people’s work values to shift between extrinsic and intrinsic values.
People who place a bigger emphasis on intrinsic values were found to be much happier, not just at work but with their lives in general.
The findings have been consolidated into a comprehensive model that explains the effect that life factors and gender have on work values and the subsequent impact that work values have on overall life satisfaction. Organisations can build on this model to identify, grow and retain a satisfied workforce, which is a good fit for organisational/team values and takes into account issues of work-life balance which are typically difficult for managers to accommodate cost-effectively.