In recent months, a variety of surveys by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Gartner and Paychex have provided an avalanche of information on what workers – especially those in technology – want. With one in five workers expected to leave their current jobs next year, the talent market is tight and companies are scrambling to keep workers happy. The data provides clues as to what smart organizations can do.
Sometimes it’s as simple as asking employees what they want; In other cases, it may be to offer employees remote work options, an appropriate increase, new skills or an opportunity to find meaning in their work.
“If the ‘Big Resignation’ employers have learned anything, it does not take their workers for granted,” said Bhushan Sethi, global joint leader for organizations and individuals at PricewaterhouseCoopers. “However, many companies dare to do just that – whether it is by not paying enough attention to skilled workers who are at high risk of quitting or by failing to support workers who have self-realization and meaning at work. search.
“Workers who feel empowered by their current conditions – those with specialized or scarce skills – are ready to test the market,” Sethi said.
Those planning to jump ship lean heavily on younger employees, according to a March survey by PwC, findings reflected by separate research from Gartner. It found that IT workers under the age of 30 were two and a half times less likely to stay than those over 50.
“This is the lowest of all the company’s positions,” Gartner said.
This is because young workers – Gen Z and Millennials – will make up more than half of the technological workforce by 2025, according to the World Economic Forum. Generation Z generally applies to those born between 1997 and 2012, which means that the oldest members of this group are now about 25. Millennials, ages 26 to 41, make up about 37% of today’s workforce out).
Technical posts are still vacant
Even when one in five employees plans to retire, the average number of technical jobs has risen to more than 204,000, and that number is growing.
The unemployment rate for technical occupations fell to a record low in May, with technical vacancies exceeding 443,000, according to an analysis of the latest labor market data by CompTIA, a non-profit organization for the IT industry and labor force.
“An already tight labor market is tightening with competition for technology talent reaching near record levels,” says Tim Herbert, chief research officer at CompTIA. “For any employer that relies on outdated rental guide, it’s time to reconsider recruitment and retention tactics.”
Employers across the U.S. economy are stepping up their search for technology workers and technology companies continue to expand payrolls, according to CompTIA. Specifically, technology companies added 75,200 workers during the first four months of 2022.
More than 191,000 new IT jobs will be created in 2022, according to IT recruitment consultant Janco Associates. Janco’s latest report said the IT job market now houses more than 3.85 million jobs in the United States, with about 130,000 of those jobs open.
Janco analyzed retirement interviews from 285 IT positions involving 1,203 employees and found that 45% (543) worked 24 months or less. Twenty-four months is the period in which an employee is considered peerless and a full-fledged team player – which contributes to the success of the IT function in the organization.
“Each of these was considered a failure of employment,” Janko said.
Do not take employees for granted
In its third annual Hopes and Fears survey, PwC surveyed 52,195 active workers in 44 countries and territories to determine where companies might be short of talent. Among other things, PwC found that 44% of technology workers plan to ask for an increase over the next year because they know their skills are in high demand.
When employees are looking for an increase, what they are actually doing is buying and comparing offers from other companies, according to Sethi. And when it comes to salaries, companies need to keep up with inflation, which is around 8% annually.
But employee retention requires more than just a salary. Workers also want more support in translating ESG considerations into their work.
“Job performance and the opportunity to be yourself at work are also important for employees who are considering a job change,” Sethi said. “Salary is table game, but I also want my job to be meaningful and satisfying, and I want to work in a place where I can be myself.”
Employees also want flexibility in the workplace. This, and people-centered work policies, can reduce wear and tear and increase performance. In fact, Gartner found that 65% of IT employees said that their ability to work flexibly influenced their decision to stay in an organization.
The majority of workers (63%) prefer and expect hybrid work options, while 18% expect full telework as an option – and 11% prefer full-time telework, according to PwC.
Since many workers want or expect to work remotely, companies have to scramble to make sure that employee benefits are relevant to them. Paychex, a U.S. company that provides outsourced human resources, payroll and benefits services, surveyed more than 1,000 employees – from CEOs to entry-level positions – to find the fringe benefits workers really want. The survey conducted earlier this year showed:
- Only 45% of companies have updated their benefits since switching to remote work, and 73% of those companies have requested employee input.
- Flexible hours and performance bonuses are the most popular benefit updates, but giving home office (31%), internet compensation (30%) and a four-day work week (29%) is what employees really wanted.
- 64% of employees at companies that have updated their benefits have no plans to leave work within the next year; Only 47% of those unchanged benefits said the same thing.
“The place to start for IT companies is to examine their employees to see which benefit packages are most preferred for them. Updating benefit packages will not only help retain but also attract new employees, said Heather Whitney, HR coach at Paychex.
Find out what workers want through live feedback or surveys
Best practices are likely to vary depending on the size of the company. Small businesses need to hold one-on-one meetings between managers and employees to get first-hand feedback. Larger companies can benefit from a company meeting with an employee survey to select the desired benefits.
“Our survey found that employer perception does not match employees for many desired benefits,” Whitney said. “Different generations often want different benefits, so it’s important for companies to examine their employees to make sure they do not miss the point when it comes to benefit packages.”
For example, only 10% of employers offer Internet compensation, and 9% offer a home office allowance, according to Paychex. Most desirable benefits for newborns? Four working days a week.
When companies updated benefit packages based on employee input, 73% indicated that “productivity improvements,“ Paychex study found.
Companies can also find small ways to reward employees more frequently, rather than waiting for performance appraisals that can take place once or twice a year. Rewards are one option.
Whitney said a typical performance bonus can be around 3% of total annual revenue based on company productivity and is often most rewarding in uncertain times when employers are reluctant to offer larger, more permanent increases.
“Also, sometimes employees feel an unimportant luxury because they only receive a small amount per pay period, while the bonus tends to be bigger and more impactful,” she said.
.Bridging the Skills Gap
Skill gaps can also lead to inequality in the workplace. Highly skilled workers are more likely to be satisfied, heard and financially compensated, which means companies need to look for ways to bridge any skills gap between workforce demographics (i.e. gender and age) through skills improvement investments.
“There is an increase in dividend payouts that benefit companies as they face an uncertain economy,” Sethi said. “Retaining the right talent and improving their skills can help us overcome today’s challenges and achieve a competitive advantage in the future.
“At our organization, we have launched a new people strategy called ‘My +’, where we will invest in you and build your skills – whether those skills belong to PwC or one of our clients at some point,” said Sethi. “People do not want to stay with one company forever. They want to gain experience and get moving.
“If they stay 20 or 25 years and become a general manager or CIO, it’s great,” Sethi said. “But a lot of companies don’t design for it.”
Instead, companies have to lay off employees to stay three to seven years. This includes proper preparation and training – a key to employee retention.
“The company needs to plan for manpower exhaustion and renewal,” Sethi said. “Today’s employee has a choice. If you provide good qualification and training, young employees will learn when you go to work at X company, they will make you a more attractive candidate in the future. “
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