Interviewer: I think what's striking about the results is that by far workers valued important and meaningful work as more important than any of the other characteristics, that included salary.
Interviewee: Yeah. Now I'm going to tell you about another poll, and this poll was taken a year later in 1991, and it asked the respondents to reflect on how important certain job characteristics were in their work. And this is a different type of poll because whereas in the first poll, respondents had to choose only one out of five, in this poll they wanted their respondents to react to each item separately. You know, this is to rank each item as "not important", "somewhat important", "important" or "very important". So they have four choices for each item.
Interviewer: Sorry to interrupt you. How many items altogether?
Interviewee: Oh, the poll had 16 items. Let me give you a few examples.
Interviewee: The second item they asked about is interesting work. They asked how important is interesting work to you. And again, I'm just going to tell you about how many people said it was very important. In this case, 78% of the respondents ranked this as very important to them.
Interviewee: Yes, 78%. This is a key point, I think. One often sees people working for a lot less if they enjoy their work.
Interviewer: That's true.
Interviewee: The fourth item they asked about was opportunity to learn new skills. How important is that to you? 68% ranked this as very important. And I think that goes again to the idea of interest level, personal satisfaction, and the idea that people want their work to be meaningful.