The EY 2022 Work Reimagined Survey reveals insights from over 17,000 employees and 1,575 employers from 22 countries and 26 industries. The research examines the primary motivators of employee turnover or retention and points out key areas for leaders looking to seize the chances of the present.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a significant shift in the way people work and think about employment. This shift has accelerated a work realignment that was already underway and has changed our perception of success, purpose, and value. With rising inflation, The Great Resignation, and requests for commitment and action on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) challenges, the workforce is reorganizing into pools according to how we work, what we value, and who we are.
The survey shows that making provisions for hybrid and flexible work is essential, and both employers and employees agree on this. However, not all employers have formalized their policies and guidelines and communicated them to their employees. Although nearly half (43%) of respondents said they were likely to leave their employer in the coming year, employees report feeling empowered. In light of more competitive job markets and new opportunities, their top concern is total pay.
Gen Z or millennials in the United States (53%) and those employed in the technology/hardware sector (60%) were the two groups most likely to anticipate leaving their current positions. Employers who have adopted a proactive stance toward the evolving nature of the workplace are more optimistic about current and future shifts in culture and productivity. Employers and employees both view diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) and total rewards as areas that require more focus and action.
We now find ourselves in a position to completely reimagine a workforce strategy that is more human-centered and sustainable. Employers can redefine a new way of working that protects the talent pipeline and future value by acting quickly to address the situation and realizing the need for sustainable business transformation.
Employee turnover has increased over the past year, according to 68% of employer respondents, and 43% of employees say they are likely to leave their current employer in the coming year. Compared to last year, when only 7% of employees indicated they were unlikely to stay, this is a significant increase. Gen Z or millennials in the United States (53%) and those employed in the technology/hardware sector (60%), were the two groups most likely to anticipate leaving their current positions.
Over the past two years, employees and some employers have championed workplace flexibility, and for the majority of workers, it has moved from being a nice-to-have to an expectation. 80% of the employees surveyed said they would like to work remotely at least two days per week. Just 20% of workers expressed opposition to fully remote work, down from 34% the year before, demonstrating a wider acceptance of working remotely.
Despite this indication from employees, almost a quarter (22%) of polled employers claim that all employees are expected to show up to work five days per week. There has been a shift in leverage in favor of workers, as evidenced by the opposing views that employers and employees have on hybrid or flexible work. Employers and employees have very different perspectives on workplace culture, productivity, potential for advancement, and mobility, which could intensify the already competitive race for talent.
Many employers exhibit declining levels of confidence in how their organizations are developing their cultures as a result of an empowered workforce and an increasingly fluid labor market. Compared to 77% last year, only 57% of employers now say they agree that their culture has improved since the pandemic began. Employee opinion has increased from 48% in 2021 to 61%, who agree that the corporate culture has improved since the pandemic began.
Employees prioritize total salary and other practical benefits while employers agree that adjustments to a rewards strategy that includes pay, wellbeing, flexible benefits, time off, and more are urgent. There is a disconnect between what employees want in a new role and what employers prioritize to address turnover. Employers focus on education and training, adaptability, psychological and mental health of employees, and safety. Employers are investing in upskilling the remaining workforce in response to The Great Resignation. There are distinctions between employees who are “job jumpers” and “company committed,” influenced by their professional sector and generation. It’s crucial to understand the workforce composition to respond appropriately.
The EY 2022 Work Reimagined Survey shows that different generations have different preferences when it comes to the physical and organizational design of the workplace. Employers and employees agree on the importance of flexibility and hybrid work, but there is still a disconnect between what employees want in terms of pay and career advancement and what employers are willing to provide. To address this, employers should consider implementing hybrid models, rethinking workplace design, creating a positive work-technology experience, improving career frameworks, and defining culture and organizational networks. It is crucial for employers to address pay equity between internal and external labor markets to avoid high turnover.
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