In today’s job market, finding and retaining top talent is crucial for small businesses, and employers are feeling the pressure to improve their employee engagement and retention strategies. It’s not just about the customer experience anymore, as the employee experience holds just as much weight.
According to LinkedIn research, improving employee retention and supporting career development are among the top three business priorities in the U.S. this year. In order to attract and retain top talent, small businesses need to meet their employees’ expectations.
Based on the latest Workmonitor survey of 35,000 global workers, here are the top five key findings on what employees expect from their employers, and how small businesses can meet those expectations:
1. Employee Attitude
Work-life balance is essential for most workers (72%), and even more important for job searchers. Offering a promise of balance is critical, as 61% would not accept a position that interfered with their work-life balance. A toxic working environment would lead to 34% of workers quitting, and 48% would leave if their job prevented them from enjoying their life.
2. Employee Expectations
Economic fluctuations affect employee attraction and retention, but workers expect their employers to help in several ways. According to Workmonitor, the most desired forms of help are a monthly cost of living stipend (41%), opportunities for a salary increase outside of the annual review (39%), and help with high daily expenses such as energy and commuting costs (28%). In addition, 45% of workers would not accept a job that did not offer accommodating hours.
Small businesses are stepping up to provide this assistance, with nearly half of surveyed workers receiving help such as a hybrid or flexible schedule, and reduced childcare and commuting costs.
3. Job Security
Economic and job security are also top concerns for workers, with 37% worried about losing their jobs and 52% concerned about economic uncertainty. Many employees are willing to work harder to make ends meet, as 23% want to work more hours at their current jobs to help with rising costs of living.
4. Worker Unretirement
The current uncertain economy has prompted many “retired” people to return to work, while older employees are delaying retirement. The study shows a significant decline in the number of people who believed they could retire before 65 (from 61% to 51%), showing that workers are concerned about their futures. While 33% wanted to retire by age 60, 26% of those 55 and older plan to keep working.
5. A Sense of Belonging
Employees want to work for employers whose values align with theirs, and 45% would not work for a business with conflicting values. In addition, 77% of surveyed workers considered employer’s objectives on sustainability, diversity, and transparency as essential. In today’s talent shortage crisis, belonging is increasingly important, with 54% of workers reporting that they would quit a job if they did not feel like they belonged.
In conclusion, small businesses need to focus on meeting their employees’ expectations in order to attract and retain top talent. Collaboration, through building trust and increasing productivity, leads to staff loyalty. Small businesses can do this by offering work-life balance, support for daily expenses, opportunities for salary increases, job security, and aligning their values and objectives with those of their employees. By meeting these expectations, small businesses can stand out in the current market and retain skilled employees.