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Survey: Workers Prefer Better Boss To Raise

A new study produced by HR consulting firm Randstad U.S. shows that workers in the U.S. would trade salary increases for a better boss. More than a quarter of respondents (28%) to the survey said they would rather have a better boss manage them than have a $5,000 raise. Further, 36% of employees said they would give up $5,000 per year in salary to be happier at work.

The numbers were reinforced by employees’ views of work-life balance. The Randstad survey of more than 2,200 adults currently employed at U.S. companies, found that 41% of workers believe that work-life balance is virtually impossible to achieve. Plus, 39% of respondents don’t believe that their bosses encourage them to take vacation days.

"Vacations make for more productive and engaged workers," said Jim Link, chief HR officer for Randstad North America. "And yet, 41% of employees don't believe their employers help them achieve work-life balance and 39% don't feel their managers encourage them to utilize vacation time. Therefore, bosses who proactively encourage workers to unplug, unwind and truly leave work behind to enjoy time off will be looked upon as workplace heroes."

Employees also believe that they’ll look better in the eyes of their managers if they eschew vacation plans. A full 38% of workers said they think they’ll be viewed more favorably by their bosses if they take fewer vacations. And, 36% of employees admit to canceling vacation plans due to work obligations.

"It's essential that employees feel empowered to take a break from their jobs, and managers should take note of these study findings to determine whether their company's culture truly supports and allows the opportunity for this," said Link. "There is no doubt that taking time off to unwind is healthy and ultimately better for the organization."