Job growth is climbing in the United States as the unemployment rate fell for the third consecutive month. However, this growth and the rise of wages is accompanied by the rise of inflation. Alongside employment and inflation growth is another factor to consider. According to Willis Towers Watson’s 2022 Global Benefits Attitudes Survey, 44% of employees are actively looking for a new job or plan to do so. Clearly, the Great Resignation looms in offices across the nation. So what can employers do to stop the churn rate? How can they guarantee employee satisfaction? Let’s dive in.
In a previous post, we outlined how companies can shape policies to benefit employees. We also encouraged companies to ask their workforce what they were looking for. If you didn’t send out surveys or find actionable answers to questions around employee satisfaction, don’t worry, we have some insights to share. According to a Mercer study, 44% of employees want to continue working remotely full-time. Further, 95% of respondents to a survey from Future Forum voiced a desire for flexible hours, while 78% wanted location flexibility as well. These insights and the following answers align with what we’ve seen in our own workforce and many of the companies we work with.
Before the pandemic, office hours were clearly defined. Most people built their lives around when they had to be at work and when they would be leaving. Following the pandemic and an extended remote work environment, employees know that they can do their work and fit other elements of their lives into their daily schedule. Whether that’s doing a load of laundry in between a morning of meetings or taking off early on Thursday to join play bar league softball, employees know they can balance their work and personal lives. Employers pressing for a return to rigid schedules are going to be met with resistance and higher turnover.
There’s a fairly large subset of the working public that require mobile phones or other devices to do their work. And lots of companies will that requirement with a company-provided device. Most employees aren’t a fan of this for a few reasons.
The first is, they just don’t want to have to carry around a second phone. They already have one, and it’s big enough. The second one is another thing to take care of. And the phones of today are far larger than the phones of even five years ago.
The second is, they don’t want to learn a new operating system. Whether they’re an android user switching to apple or apple learning android, it’s one more thing to do for a phone the ultimately don’t want.
What employees want and what employers can deliver can be conceptualized as a Venn diagram. Depending on the company, the circles could be practically overlapping, and the circles could be barely touching. Fortunately for employers, delivering on flexibility and personal ownership is fairly easy.
In the environment of today, and with fingers crossed against new COVID variants, employers are demanding their employees come back to work in the office. Generally, this means returning to rigid work hours, something most employees are opposed to. Employers putting employee satisfaction above the traditions of offices past can avoid this mistake in two ways.
The first is offering remote work to those employees who wish to continue working from home. As we learned during the height of the pandemic, many roles do not require an employee to be in person. If the majority of the company decides to continue working from home, your business can save money on office space and channel it into another area of your business.
The second option is a hybrid remote program. Departments can communicate with employees to decide on which days they’d like to spend in the office and which days they’d like to remain remote. This seems to be a best of both worlds approach. Teams that need to collaborate can meet to talk things out in a group, while they can maintain flexibility on the days they remain remote.
What’s better than providing employees with a company device? Enabling them to use their current device for business purposes. By implementing a bring your own device (BYOD) program, employers empower their mobile workforce to conduct business calls, answer emails, chats and anything else applicable from their own phone. No juggling two devices. No learning new operating systems. Just doing business.
While BYOD may meet employee satisfaction standards, companies may worry about security risk. A personal phone could be an unprotected end-point, an open door to cyber-criminals. Fortunately, with the right provider, employers can simultaneously enable personal devices for business use and protect them from cyber-attacks with mobile device management (MDM) programs.
Change is rarely easy. We often step outside of our comfort zones when adapting to new things. But, just like people, companies are capable of change. Businesses around the world made the most of their situations during COVID. Following a global pandemic, making changes to meet employee satisfaction and prevent turnover in the workforce is a logical next step.