What workers want: The employee trends driving organisational change

The great resignation has sparked a great realisation among employers across the globe. Business leaders are now acknowledging that they need to meet new and changing employee expectations in order to overcome the talent crisis. And failure to do so will only result in greater exodus of their workforce.

The Financial Times have reported that the skills shortage has increased the demand for a ‘grow your own’ training approach, with more organisations acknowledging the need to provide workers with access to ongoing training and development support. Burnout is another serious issue across industries, with 51% of employees saying they’d leave their role if better support for stress and burnout was available elsewhere. Worryingly, 48% also feel their managers don’t take any steps to help them avoid burnout.

When you combine this with the fact that half of UK workers are considering leaving their role in search of a better work-life balance, the need for employers to match the expectations of their workforce is more important than ever.

Employees are looking for more from their employers now. And shared values, wellbeing, company culture and ongoing development are focal points for many.

The research surrounding employee trends

ManpowerGroup research found that 81% of employees now expect training programmes from employers to help keep skills up to date, and 49% would move organisation in pursuit of greater wellbeing. Providing access to ongoing learning opportunities can help workers achieve greater autonomy over their development, take solace in their ability to futureproof their careers and enhance their employability in a volatile world of work. By continuously updating their skillset to remain relevant in a changing world of work, employees can achieve greater job security which in turn removes a potential stressor from their working life – contributing to their overall wellbeing.

As part of greater impetus being placed upon wellbeing, mental health fitness remains a priority for employees at all levels. Building resilience and having support in place at work is crucial, with 30% of workers wanting more mental health days to help prevent burnout. Businesses  recognise that untended and prolonged burnout within their workforce will result in reduced productivity over an extended period of time, whereas regular mental health days and an open and supportive culture could mean less time spent out of the business and higher performance levels throughout the year.

Providing initiatives such as mental health days contributes to a healthy company culture, where senior leaders pay attention to employee wellbeing and allow their workforce to use these days to reset and return to work feeling motivated and engaged. This coincides with the fact 3 in 4 employees want to feel motivated and passionate about their work – thus enabling employers and workers to achieve a sense of shared values and alignment with each other. And it’s through creating this alignment that senior leaders can ensure employees buy-in to the organisational culture and commit themselves to helping achieve business goals.

However, organisations will have to go further in their shared values with employees than simply acknowledging the importance of mental health and wellbeing. Research has found that 64% of employees want their daily work to help better society, while 2 in 3 want to work for organisations with similar ESG values to their own. And considering 2021 saw workers stand up, speak up and walk out across industries, having a clear line of communication with the entire workforce around the organisational position on ESG issues will be pivotal to retaining an engaged and loyal workforce.

How to begin addressing employee expectations

  • Equip managers to support employee development through ongoing career conversations. This way, employees can work directly with their manager to identify how exactly they’d like to develop their careers, and the actions they need to take in order to do so. Managers will then be in a far better position to support their direct reports in managing their development, as well as in maintaining their wellbeing; ensuring that every feels valued and supported.
  • Utilise assessment to understand employee values and motivators and mirror these in your organisational mission statement. Assessments provide an in-depth insight into the collective mind of a workforce. And business leaders will likely see shared values among their employees; whether they relate to workplace benefits, organisational culture or the societal impact of the company. Having this level of understanding can help businesses communicate and better align with their employees in order to maintain a happy, motivated workforce.
  • Create a culture of internal mobility so that employees can move freely throughout the business and continue learning. Remaining stagnant in one role and patiently awaiting a promotion isn’t for everybody, especially in today’s world of work. And so by providing all employees with the opportunity to move laterally within an organisation, be it temporarily or permanently, business leaders can create a culture of continuous learning whereby they benefit from a more universally skilled and engaged workforce.

To find out more about how Right Management can support your business in addressing the ever-changing demands of its workforce,  please get in touch.