5 Employee Expectations in the Post-Pandemic Reality

The pandemic has changed everything about the way we work. What do employees want now? Probably the same things they’ve always wanted. But now, they’re willing to walk out and find those things elsewhere – as evidenced by The Great Resignation.

To attract and retain top talent, companies and their leaders must adapt in these five ways:

  1. Offer remote or hybrid work arrangements. Since 2020, many employees have indicated a preference for working from home, even when they could go to the office. In fact, a recent Bloomberg article revealed that 39% of US adults would consider resigning if their employers weren’t on board with remote work– and among the millennial and GenZ populations, that statistic jumps up to 49%. If you don’t offer remote or at least hybrid work arrangements, you won’t be a viable option for a significant portion of potential employees.
  2. Provide an employee-focused experience. What is it that really makes working at a company enjoyable or dreadful? LinkedIn Global Talent Trends found there were four P’s central to the employee experience:
    • People: The daily interactions of those in your organization between their coworkers and customers can make or break their morale.
    • Place: The job location, atmosphere, and workspace are all part of it, but employees also want an employer that is understanding and flexible towards their work and their work-life balance.
    • Product: People liked to be challenged as long as they are supported. They want their unique skills used to build services or products that reflect their contributions.
    • Process: If you trust your team, you will set them free with more autonomy. When they feel supported, they often rise to the challenge and are more fulfilled by their work.
  1. Promote internal advancement and enrichment opportunities. The LinkedIn report also found there is a growing resurgence of internal recruiting. It is cost-effective and inspires existing team members to reach their full potential. The report says those who are promoted from within “stay longer and deliver faster.”
  2. Lead with empathy and appreciation. The Human Resources Director reports that 92% of employees would stay with a company if their managers showed a little more empathy. People want to know that their leaders care about them and their families, and they want their employers to offer balance and flexibility to manage their lives. Empathy can come from leaders and from teams. In small teams, it is easier to have a feeling of “us” as the team praises and supports each other amidst the daily ups and downs.
  3. Cultivate a wellness-focused environment. The pandemic has fostered a greater awareness of wellness and the need for work/life balance. According to Harvard Business Review, employees expect their benefits to shift and expand to meet their various needs in post-pandemic living. Employees aren’t just seeking health, dental and 401(k) benefits. Now, they also desire child and caregiving assistance as well as support with their mental and emotional needs.

Turnover in business is such a costly problem that Gallup called it the “Fixable Problem That Costs the US $1 Trillion.” This pervasive issue can be solved but employers must understand what employees expect and adjust their practices before it is too late.

Leaders must see their team members as the diverse, unique, flawed, and wonderful human beings they are. This is ultimately what employees want; to be understood and supported in good times and in bad.