Employees want more – more money, more flexibility to work from home, or both in order to combat the rising cost of living, according to a new survey conducted by Insight Global, a national leader in the staffing services industry. The survey, which was conducted in March 2022 among more than 1,000 American workers, found that seventy-five percent of American workers think employers should increase employees’ pay during economic inflation, and sixty-six percent of American workers are concerned they will need to start looking for a new job in order to obtain income that can keep up with inflation.
Historically high economic inflation has American workers either discussing flexible options to work from home or thinking of finding a new job that offers the opportunity to work remotely in order to get ahead of things like rising fuel costs. In fact, more than 1 in 4 workers who say they are seriously considering looking for a new job plan to ask their boss for flexibility to work from home in order to save money on fuel expenses.
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“Leaders need to get ahead of this curve before they see some of their greatest talent leave to explore other career opportunities,” said Bert Bean, CEO at Insight Global. “The simplest way to ensure your employees are content in their current roles is to ask them. Find out what they need – is it a raise, the ability to work from home, or are they feeling disconnected? By taking the time to listen and understand, employers will be better poised to handle the current challenges our economy is creating and find a path to resolution.”
Bean adds that today’s workers, as well as job seekers, are well-positioned to ask for the salaries or job perks they desire due to the nationwide demand for skilled workers. He recommends the following tips to American workers as they navigate the current economic challenges:
- Don’t Jump Ship: Employees may be surprised to find out that they simply need to ask for what they want. Bean recommends having the tough conversations, even if it feels uncomfortable. “It is often more effective and impactful to have those discussions with your current organization versus leaving and starting over somewhere new. Don’t forget about the equity you’ve built and relationships you’ve fostered. A simple conversation may be all that is needed.”
- Build Your Brand: Employees should take stock of their contributions, show their value and how their contributions have directly aligned to the organization’s goals. Bean suggests creating a “Brag Sheet” that brings this all to life and proactively discussing your career path in addition to HR cycles. “You have to be your own biggest advocate,” said Bean.
- It’s Not All About Money: While inflation has certainly posed financial challenges, Bean says it’s critical not to lose sight of what a great organization can provide. “Don’t forget that a company that has true purpose, shared values and open lines of communication can be hard to come by,” says Bean. “Look out for companies that are winning at the culture game and allowing employees’ voices to be heard – those are the ones that are going to come out on top during economic shifts.”
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“In order to win the war for talent, organizations need to adjust and adapt,” said Bean. “Simply put, this is going to be the best way to attract and retain top talent. We foresee this trend of folks looking for new jobs to continue for at least the next 3-5 years, so organizations need to tackle what we know is most important to employees: culture, flexibility, and compensation.”
Bean also added that culture can easily be misinterpreted by organizations and simply become a check-the-box. “If you’re truly taking the time to listen, then culture will build around your employees. We learned the hard way in the past when attrition was at an all-time low. And the number one reason for employees leaving wasn’t pay.” Since then, the company has reshaped its shared values, developed a comprehensive training program, and recently launched free mental health services for all employees.
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