The workplace is changing, and so are employee expectations. Employers have made a variety of changes to the way their business operates, but they haven’t considered the lasting impact these changes will have on the future of employee experience.
As professionals have adapted to new ways of working, collaborating, and communicating, they have discovered many new benefits and improvements from these changes—including greater flexibility, work-life balance, and autonomy. These are all things that employees have demanded for decades, but have not been able to achieve until recently. The events of the past year have only accelerated the inevitable.
Now that the door is open, employee expectations have shifted drastically—and it’s unlikely that they’ll ever go back. If the experience you offer cannot meet these expectations, employees will eventually look for work elsewhere. You can continue to engage and retain top talent by aligning on these evolving employee expectations:
Offering remote work opportunities in the long-term is a benefit that should not be overlooked. Employees are not only loving the flexibility to work from home, but they are proven to be equally or more productive. Yet, according to our 2022 Hiring Outlook, one in four employers is still planning a full-time return to the office.
With 88% of professionals demanding at least a partially remote work situation moving forward, you’ll find yourself at a disadvantage if you cannot meet these employee expectations. This not only includes offering remote opportunities, but also the tech that allows for a seamless transition. You’ll also miss out on a variety of benefits of remote work for your business, from reduced costs to access to a wider talent pool.
In addition to wanting more say in where they work, today’s employees want more flexibility in when they work. It’s become apparent that professionals can remain focused and productive when not in the office. Feeling they’ve earned their employers’ trust, employees are seeking a culture driven by results—not hours. You can meet these employee expectations by giving staff more autonomy over their schedules and/or offering a variety of flexible scheduling options.
Today’s employees are focused on building their own career resiliency. If they feel their skillset has become stagnant or their employer isn’t providing them with new opportunities for career development, they will move on. These employee expectations have been amplified by the pandemic. In the face of uncertainty, they are doing all they can to ensure their professional marketability. As a result, offering professional and skills development should always remain a priority—this is especially true when you do not have the budget for raises or promotions.
Support from leadership
One thing professionals have come to realize is that their health and wellness is more important than a job. As a leader, it is critical that you are able to support your employees not only in their work, but in all aspects of their life, including physical and mental health.
Should an employee be struggling, it is imperative that leaders step up to offer support in whatever way they can. Not only is this a critical action to take, but it is important that employers know how to communicate their support.
To do so, be sure that you are vocal about resources available to employees and encourage employees to be open with you about their needs. When they’re not afraid to approach you for help, you can build a more trusting relationship that will build loyalty over the long term.
With remote work on the rise, creating a connected workplace is more important than ever. Consider all the normal office interactions—morning updates, weekly brainstorms, group activities, office chatter, etc.—that happen organically. This is not the reality for remote employees. With team members scattered across different locations, employees expect their leaders to help them feel connected as a team and to the company as a whole. There are a variety of ways you can align with these employee expectations, from implementing the right virtual communication tools to establishing company-wide initiatives.