5 Job Factors Employees Want

Feb 7, 2013
5 Min Read

One of the biggest challenges companies have today is retention. They spend a lot of money on recruiting and training their employees only to lose them and have to go through the same process again. In today's working environment, employees are jumping around from company to company until they find the job of best fit. Companies have a lot of pressure on them in this environment to entice their employees to not only perform better with fewer resources, but to just stay engaged in their work.

A new survey by CareerBuilder explores the job factors that employees are looking for in their companies. Out of 3,900 respondents, they found that 32 percent of companies have reported that top performers left their organization in 2012. These days, companies are using social networks, like LinkedIn, to steal talent and leverage their current employee base to expand. Another reason why companies need to increase their retention rates is because they have to build a pipeline of future leaders. Eventually, Boomers will retire, and if they don't have the next generation of talent lined up, they will struggle. Here are the top five job factors employees want now, based on the study:

1. Salary is more important to workers than titles

88 percent of workers said that salary matters more than a title and 55 percent said having a certain title isn't important. This shows that employees view their salary as a success metric over their title. I also believe that companies will have flatter hierarchies in the future and focus more on collaboration, so titles may not matter soon anyway. In startups, titles don't mean anything because there are so few people, and in big companies there are so many people with the same title that it's not as important.

2. Having a flexible work schedule

59 percent of employees want to be able to maintain a flexible work schedule in order to fit personal activities into their lives. If companies force employees to do work outside of the office, then they should allow them to do personal activities inside the office. Some employees have children too, and need to be able to be a parent, not just an employee.

3. Being able to make a difference

48 percent of employees want to make an impact at work. Workers, especially millennials, want to see that their responsibilities matter and can affect not just the bottom line of the company, but also society. When workers have a sense of meaning in their lives, they perform better and stay longer. When workers just focus on routine tasks, they get bored, aren't proud of what they do and end up wanting to leave.

4. Challenging work

35 percent said that they want challenging work. Unless workers are constantly pushed to do more and take on more responsibilities, they get bored and eventually leave (especially millennials). When every workday is the same, it's hard to get any enjoyment out of what you do. Employers should constantly push workers to get the most out of them and in effect, that will challenge and help retain the top performers.

5. Ability to work from home

33 percent said they want to work from home instead of having to come to the office every day. In a recent article in the Globe And Mail, one executive said "We don’t make people punch time cards. As long as they’re providing what it takes to be successful, who cares where it is they do their work?" He's right on target with that comment. A job should be measured based on results not where and when you do work.


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