Sizzle sizzle. What’s that sound? It’s the heated up hiring market. Power has shifted from the employer to the employee. Discerning job seekers are making hiring tough and antsy employees aren’t making retention any easier. The Great Resignation is on. Talent is on the move – pent up attrition is breaking out all over the place.
Every year 24 Seven conducts job market studies that helps us deliver valuable insights to our candidates and clients. In a recent report, we were interested to learn how employees assess the ideal workplace. We drilled down into each of the factors to develop a deeper understanding. Read on and see if this resonates with you: Is this what your ideal workplace looks like?
Ideal Workplace Trait #1: "Money, Money, Money"
Far and away, financial compensation is the number one thing respondents said employers can do to influence their perception of a workplace being ideal. During the pandemic, raises and bonuses took a hit, with some companies cutting raises out altogether and, in some cases, even reducing salaries. Talent is looking to make up those lost earnings. As recruiters, we don’t need research to tell us that compensation is the number one cause of employee flight (although years of our own studies confirm it). However there are other workplace factors employees would consider if the salary doesn't cut it.
Ideal Workplace Trait #2: "My company offers great perks & benefits."
Traditional benefits are consistently at the top of the employee checklist when it comes to the ideal workplace. Workers want to know that they're well taken care of in the case of an accident, family emergency, and/or when they go to retire. Employees also said non-traditional office perks were an additional ideal workplace feature. Nine in ten employees in our study said they’re more likely to find an employer ideal if the company considers their holistic lifestyle needs (professional, financial, personal pressures, physical health, emotional wellness, etc.) when designing the employee experience, including benefits to support them. When companies came up short on compensation, perks and policies that support the whole employee – professionally and personally -- could help make up the difference.
Ideal Workplace Trait #3: "I have flexibility around where I work."
Now that most of the working world has participated in a remote work experiment, the naysayers have been proven wrong. Companies can both survive and thrive with distributed teams. The remote genie is out of the bottle. And nine in ten employees say the ideal workplace will keep it that way – four in ten want to work fully remotely, while the other five prefer a hybrid model. In fact, 74% said they will look for another job if their current employer requires them to work in-office all the time. So for employers looking to retain employees, flexibility is key to being an ideal workplace.
Ideal Workplace Trait #4: "I get a say about when I work."
Now that the remote work questions has been settled, employees say that employers looking to create an ideal workplace should offer work schedule flexibility. The pandemic forced workers to juggle personal and professional responsibilities in new and often stressful ways. Schedules needed to contract, expand, and bend to fulfill both work and home obligations. But employees made it work and discovered new optimal rhythms to their days and weeks. It was not a surprising to learn that a workplace that offered employees more control over their work schedule made it ideal and hard to leave.
Ideal Workplace Trait #5: "My manager makes it all worthwhile."
Over the years, our studies have found that one of the greatest factors on employee retention, engagement, and overall job satisfaction is their direct manager. Managers are both employer brand ambassadors personifying the company culture, but also creators of mini-cultures within their own teams. Employers looking to create an ideal workplace should not underestimate the impact of their managerial team, and make investments in their ongoing training and development, grooming them into irresistible leaders.
Ideal Workplace Trait #6: "My company is committed to helping employees achieve work/life balance."
Employees said an ideal workplace was one in which the employer demonstrates a commitment to employee work/life balance. Flexibility is always an important goal to employees participating in our job market research. And now that we're working from home for the most part, setting boundaries between work time and personal time is even more important.
Ideal Workplace Trait #7: “I appreciate my company’s level of communication & transparency.”
Employees who cited communication level and transparency as key to an ideal workplace, feel expectations, policies and procedures, etc. are shared thoroughly and respectfully. These workers don’t question their company’s values and what they stand for because it has already been clearly communicated and honored day in and day out.
Ideal Workplace Trait #8: "My company offers professional development to keep my skills sharp."
Lastly, employees crave professional development. Employees who feel they are continually growing professionally are extremely engaged and are more likely to note their workplace as ideal. From mapped out career paths to professional development course offerings, employees are looking for opportunities to upskill and reskill. These opportunities might range from in-house training to attending outside conferences or trade shows, or pursuing higher education.
While these factors of a magnetic workplace were the most popular among our recent survey participants, finding the exact right blend will vary from individual to individual. Our recruiters are experts at matching candidates to their ideal job and workplace, to learn how they do it click here. And for more tips on securing your next job click here. Looking to hire freelance or full-time employees? Click here to get in touch with our recruitment team.