What workers want – it hasn’t changed as much as you think!    

The world has changed and, with that, you might expect that so has what employees are looking for from their careers, their employers and their workplaces. No doubt some attitudes about workplace priorities are shifting, but for employers looking to attract top-level talent, it isn’t as simple as adding sleep pods or a ping-pong table to your office.

Gallup conducted a study earlier this year of more than 13,000 American employees and asked them what is most important for them when considering a job. What do they really want?

Perhaps the most surprising thing about the results of this study is that the top three things employees care about haven’t really changed much – they’re what workers have always wanted. A pandemic, shifting work styles and economic pressures haven’t changed these fundamental priorities.

Number 1 – Money

The survey results showed that 64% of respondents felt that more money (or more benefits) was very important when considering a new role.

Remuneration, bonuses and perks have always been a significant part of what employees are looking for from their work. With growing economic challenges, a talent shortage and the rising cost of living, this will continue to be a major part of the decision-making process for talent, whether they’re considering a new job or debating whether to stay at their current one.

Of course, their motivation isn’t purely mercenary. Money will often equate to how valued an employee feels by an organisation, and everyone wants to feel valued.

Number 2 – Balance

For 61% of those surveyed, greater work–life balance, health and wellbeing were very important.

The pandemic has really highlighted the importance of finding this balance for employees. When working from home the lines between the work day and ‘regular’ life become easily blurred. A commitment by organisations to ensure employee wellbeing through a variety of programs and initiatives, and organisations that offer flexibility and balance, will be attractive to potential talent.

Number 3 – Strengths

For 58% of respondents, a job that allowed them to do what they do best and to play to their strengths was very important.

There’s no feeling in the office quite as good as knowing you’ve done your job very well, that you’ve excelled and that your organisation has benefited from your expertise. All employees want to feel that way and for at least 58% it is one of their top priorities. After all, no one wants to struggle through each day at work.

Ensure your job descriptions are clear and that you are realistic and transparent with potential hires about what a position really entails. You want the right person in the job, not just any person. It is obviously far better for both the organisation and the employee that their strengths lie in the areas you need.

So, although a lot has changed over the last two years or so, some things have stayed the same. What employees want isn’t particularly unusual or surprising, so to attract and retain top talent, it’s up to leaders within organisations to ensure they’re offering existing and potential employees exactly what they’re looking for.

Discover how other leaders and organisations are rising to the challenges of talent shortages, retention and productivity. Join us for our first ever Peeplcoach Leadership Symposium in June! Find out more here.