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Salary, Flexibility, Inspiration: What Workers Want Varies by Nation

A survey of 20,000 global workers finds geographic distinctions in what motivates workers. In France, the job must be interesting — in Germany, it must be secure. For all workers, though, the paycheck matters. 

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Photographer: Noriko Hayashi/Bloomberg

What do workers really want in a job? The answer depends in part on where they’re from, according to a global survey from management consultant Bain & Co.

Americans and Japanese demand a good salary and benefits above all else, but pay matters less to the French, who want interesting work. Brazilian and Nigerian workers look for opportunities to learn, while those in Indonesia value a good relationship with co-workers. Chinese jobseekers look for a company that inspires them, and Germans long for job security.