The pandemic has made employees realize the importance of financial security and work-life balance. And so, they are ready to quit their current jobs for greener pastures that can give them the workplace benefits they need. While offering employee wellness programs and holistic health benefits has been on the rise, a few other factors are gaining traction.
With such issues motivating employees to switch jobs, employers are at war to retain skilled talent. No wonder they are going the extra mile to meet the potential expectations of new recruits and existing candidates. However, the key to optimizing the company’s employee retention and recruitment strategies is to identify and understand the needs and demands of the workforce.
Gallup surveyed around 13,085 U.S. employees to understand the key factors influencing their decision of choosing their new employer. The outcomes of the study listed a few key attributes –
- Higher-income and pay
- Work-life balance
- Occupational growth
- Job stability
- Diverse workplace culture
Higher-income and pay
According to Gallup’s research, payscale has been a crucial factor that influenced the decision to choose or not choose a new job offer. With the ‘Great Resignation’ and ‘Great Reshuffling’ startling the corporate market, income, and its related benefits continue to top the charts.
A 2015 Gallup study showed that pay and benefits were in 4th place, with only 41% of employees prioritizing it. However, the recent study showed that 64% of employees felt income and benefits were ‘very important,’ pushing them to the first place.
Job seekers are well aware that the market is full of good opportunities that can pay them well for their efforts and skills. And so, they are confident enough to seek what they need and deserve.
In the 2015 Gallup study, 53% of employees cited work-life balance and overall wellbeing as vital factors in choosing their employers. The number rose notably to 61% in the current study.
Many studies have reported employee burnout, stress, and related mental health issues. Irrespective of the burnout issues, the remote working situation caused by the pandemic has raised awareness about flexible working schedules and work-life balance. Since remote working and flexible working agendas have become the new normal, employers must make it a part of their workplace strategy to attract and retain skilled talent.
Occupational satisfaction and growth
It is obvious! When people do what they love or what they are good at, they tend to do better and give their best to it. Likewise, when employees love their jobs and work to their strengths, they are more creative and productive. However, working in a field or project that is not of interest can reduce employee engagement and impact productivity. More importantly, they tend to quit their jobs to find the work they would be happy to do. According to the study, almost 58% of employees wanted to work at a workplace that motivated them to do what they were good at.
To make sure employees are engaged and interested at work, employers must know what excites them and what they are good at. A realistic job preview will help the workforce comprehend their job responsibilities and they will know what exactly to expect from their tasks. This makes it easier for employees to choose the right employer and vice versa, reducing turnover rates in the future.
Although the pandemic has led to job uncertainties and a dropping economy, the factor of job security and stability has not changed since the 2015 study. Around 53% of the respondents felt job stability and security are vital factors considered while choosing their jobs. However, the concept of job security has changed over the years. While this ideology could evolve in the future, the current idea of job security is the probable prospect in the current industry, company, and field.
Employees have been through a lot of stress, and job stability is deemed to be one of the factors. And so, employers must ensure their workforce feels secure and emphasize their job stability to assure workforce loyalty.
Diverse workplace culture
Many employers have realized that workers today are looking forward to a substantial change in diversity and inclusion issues. The ‘Black Lives Matter’ protests and the significant impact of the pandemic on certain races and cultures have made it apparent that employers must be prepared to handle these issues. Gallup asked the question about their preference for a diverse and inclusive workplace while choosing their new job, and 42% of the respondents agreed it was a top priority for them. And so, employers must incorporate strategies to create a diverse, equitable, inclusive, and positive workplace culture. While such changes can enhance employee loyalty and retention, they will also reflect societal progress, giving a competitive edge in the market.
In addition to these factors, alignment of the workplace values and policies with that of employees was considered vital for almost 4 out of ten employees. For example, the vaccine mandate regulations had divided the workers into two groups – one who supported the mandate and the other was who did not. So, employers must make careful decisions to ensure employee safety and also make sure their beliefs and values are not taken for a ride.
Now is probably the best time for employers to take a look at their workplace policies and identify the loopholes. With workplace policies taking a major shift, employers must know what their workforce needs and modify their workplace benefits programs accordingly.