Because of that experience, I found a survey of lawyers by Robert Half Legal to be especially interesting. When surveyed about occupations they would consider if they were to leave their current jobs, attorneys cited mediator, law school professor or lecturer, and nonprofit or public interest legal services provider most often as desirable alternatives. The respondents were 200 attorneys from the largest law firms and corporations in the United States and Canada.
None of the three categories, it would seem, tend to fall into the highly compensated range for lawyers, and those queried are likely well paid for their services.
Interestingly, this group didn't express a desire to leave the law entirely. Reading between the lines, I suspect that the aspects of their profession that most appeal to these attorneys are the opportunity to resolve disputes quickly, serve a higher purpose and share their knowledge with others preparing to enter the profession.
I take from the survey results that even a profession that requires a great deal of preparation and provides a lucrative income can lack satisfaction if some element of service to a higher calling is missing. If your company makes medical products, yet there is little emphasis on remaining focused on delivering value to your real customer, the patient, then your workers might miss the true purpose of their work or grow cynical because they perceive that it's all about the money.
Money will never go out of style as a way to lure employees, but it's clear that today's worker is expecting more out of work than a paycheck. Other studies indicate consistently that compensation alone, while important, won't guarantee job satisfaction.
So when it comes to figuring out how to hold on to your best employees, don't simply consider what they're getting every two weeks. Think about what they're getting every day.