What do employees really want?

Lynn Connor, COATS Office Automation

As a staffing service in 2019, your number one and also most difficult goal is likely to get good candidates in the door.  Not only for your clients who bring you new roles to fill, but also for the permanent hires needed in your staffing firm.  Wouldn’t it make sense to know what really attracts and keeps different generations of employees happy?

What do employees actually, really want from their company?

A 2019 study by Mercer of global talent trends identified three factors that job candidates and employees are looking for in a company.  4800 employees across 16 geographies said they seek workplace flexibility, a commitment to health and well-being and work with a purpose.

A flexible work schedule, the number one factor that an employee seeks from an employer, provides employees with a higher level of job satisfaction, produces less absenteeism, and reduces turnover rates.  Employers who offer employees the ability to choose their own hours and work from home when needed, improve the overall health and well-being of their employees and make their firm a preferred workplace.

As the most important factor in a job, workplace flexibility is ahead of salary at an immense 84% for parents who work, with work-life balance at a close second, of 80%.  Companies that do offer flexible work schedules through telecommuting, flexible schedules and generous PTO policies allow for a positive work-life balance.  This also has been shown to increase productivity, reduce stress and increase general well-being.  Across all industries, flexible work schedules are very important to employees across the nation.

The Mercer study notes that flexibility is more than work hours.  Flexibility also applies to what work is to get done, who does the work and how it is completed.  The majority of employers require employees to ask permission to act on flexible benefits.  Mercer notes that firms need to have a permanent workforce flexibility arrangement rather than requiring employees to constantly ask permission.  Companies need to develop trust and support working remotely and provide the technology needed to employees to get their job done.

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