As economic forecasts for 2023 are not exactly optimistic, employees are also changing their expectations. A new study of a sample of 13,488 people from 15 countries, carried out by the communication company BCW, identified which are the most important aspects related to the job and its security, which they now emphasize:
- 52% of the respondents appreciate that job security, especially in a financially stable company, is the most important now;
- 50% said they want a safe and comfortable workplace
- 49% want a competitive base salary and time off that suits their needs
- 48% said workplace culture was the most important
The flexibility to choose from where they work is 12th on the list of the most important aspects that employees who have chosen the hybrid system now appreciate. For exclusively remote workers, the flexibility to choose from where they work f is the seventh most important feature of the work experience. Find out what matters most to employees right now, and what you can do to give your team an optimistic outlook.
More than half (56%) of people who started a new, higher-paying job in the past year are concerned about job security, according to financial services firm Bankrate, which surveyed 2,458 U.S. adults in August 2022.
In August, the number of nationwide layoffs in the US was little changed from July at 1.5 million – just 1% of the US workforce – and remained below pre-pandemic levels for the 18th month , according to the Department of Labor, states cnbc.com
WHAT MATTERs most NOW TO EMPLOYEES
If until now we were talking about the probability of people leaving if employers ask them to work full-time from the office or if they have no control over working hours, now things have changed. More than 50% of employees surveyed in the BCW study say they are likely to stay at their current job in the next 12 months. For employers who provide competitive pay and job security, people are 18% more likely to stay.
Organizational culture matters a lot in this choice. When employers communicate openly and honestly, they create a sense of belonging and emphasize wellness, people report being 24 percent more likely to stay with the company. And the percentage is increasing for Gen Z, 31% of young people remain loyal to their workplace because of the culture. On the other hand, when people don’t have a good experience in a company’s work environment, the overall likelihood of staying drops to 39%.
WHAT GENERATION Z VALUES
Gen Z considers leadership and culture more important than salary. But Baby Boomers value pay and benefits above culture and leadership.
For Gen Z youth, leadership ranks sixth in importance.
Similarly, open and honest communication from leaders ranks fifth in importance to employees, but for Gen Z it is the second attribute of the work experience. Mental and financial well-being is ranked tenth on the list of importance, and for Gen Z, it’s fifth.
SEARCHES RELATED TO JOB SECURITY AND FINANCIAL SECURITY ARE GROWING
Amid uncertainty and economic news, people are becoming anxious and insecure about jobs, according to a new report — and it’s up to employers to discuss these fears. The software developer Lemon.io looked at Google search trends and found that the following searches related to job security and financial security have skyrocketed recently:
- “I will lose my job in a recession” (+9,900%)
- “What to do when you’re fired” (+336%)
- “I lost my job, I can’t pay the rent” (+467%)
This shows that a significant number of employees, despite not being laid off, fear losing their source of income amid the uncertainty and recession predicted for 2023.
HOW do YOU OFFER THE PERSPECTIVE OF A SAFE WORKPLACE?
Transparency is the key
Aleksandr Volodarsky, CEO of Lemon.io, says that being transparent with the people on your team is the solution to making them feel safe.
“In our experience, transparency is key, no matter the circumstances, and your best bet is to proactively communicate how the business is doing, and what your plans, challenges, and wins are. Whether you’re scaling or saving your business, strive for full transparency at all times,” Volodarsky told Human Resources Director.
The Ukrainian CEO cited as an example the experience of his company, in the context in which the tension between Russia and Ukraine began to escalate.
“I noticed that the tension between the employees was increasing. People were nervous about the possibility of war in our country. Nobody felt safe, and people didn’t know if they would still have a job if the war broke out,” he said.
“So we had a general meeting, where we honestly addressed people’s fears, showed our calculations of how long the company could stay afloat in the worst-case scenario, and helped them manage their expectations.” This approach has led to positive results, particularly in terms of confidence and productivity.
Create a relationship with the people on your team
Search for their feedback in surveys, but also in focus groups, interviews, or by observing their experience on the job. Quantitative data like surveys can tell you what people think about their workplace, but qualitative data like one-to-one conversations can tell you why people react a certain way. Beyond data, the most valued approach is to understand your people, listen to them, and ask questions. Show empathy in the discussion as well as the importance of your teammates.
Develop and hold leaders accountable for their actions
They are the people who interact the most with team members, and developing the skills to inspire, engage colleagues and communicate clearly when there are moments of uncertainty can bring stability to the company.
Hold colleagues accountable for their actions
Give them opportunities for growth and development. Be clear about expectations and recognize the great work they do that is necessary for the success of the organization.
Make sure jobs and procedures are up to date with technology and people are in the roles they want. Create areas where they can focus, collaborate, learn and share experiences.