The workforce has never been as varied as it is now. The current needs of our workforce are much different than they were a few short years ago. Between the COVID-19 pandemic, the Great Resignation, recent talent shortages, and other major changes in the way people work in America over the last few years, it can feel difficult to know how to meet the needs of your employees. People look to their employers not only to provide them with a reasonable salary, but also to meet their personal and professional needs. Not to mention that in today’s competitive market it can be difficult to land great talent in the first place.
Work Changes That Affect the Current Needs of Our Workforce
A shifting economic landscape is responsible for major changes in the American workforce. Several work changes have affected the current needs of our workforce, including:
The COVID-19 pandemic has permanently altered the American workforce. These changes vary by industry and employer, of course, but many companies have reconsidered what they do and how and why they do it. Physical office spaces, employee schedules, business processes, and company culture were all up for negotiation thanks to the way the pandemic disrupted the status quo. Most companies had to adapt many aspects of their operations, and many adopted these changes permanently.
The Great Resignation
COVID-19 also led to what is known as the Great Resignation. Since the start of the pandemic, a record number of Americans have quit their jobs. The U.S. Labor Department reported in January 2022 that the number of workers quitting jobs in November 2021 was 4.5 million, a new record.
What are the Current Needs of Our Workforce?
Millions of Americans are rethinking what they want from their jobs and their work-life balance. While every industry, company, and employee is different, these are the most common current needs of our workforce:
Opportunities for Hybrid Work
Hybrid work has become much more mainstream. This makes opportunities for hybrid work especially appealing for today’s workforce. Offering remote and hybrid work options is also a huge benefit for you as an employer, because it opens up your talent pool to a larger geographic area.
Employees are not only rethinking where they want to work, but also when they want to work. The traditional 9-5 workday is disappearing. Employees are increasingly completing tasks on their own schedules. In fact, it is so important that some workers will opt for flexibility at their job over a higher salary.
Productive Use of Time
Are you familiar with the phrase “this meeting could have been an email?” Employees don’t like to feel like their time is being wasted. Make sure that your company’s meetings are productive so employees feel like their time is valued.
Consideration of Health and Well-Being
Employees want to know that their employer cares about their physical and mental health. They want to know that you see them as human beings, not just commodities. Many top companies now even offer mental health days for employees to recalibrate and come back better than ever. Other companies, like LinkedIn, offer a week off in the summer that doesn’t count toward PTO.
Of course, employees should feel like they receive fair compensation for their work. It is important to assess your salaries annually to ensure that your rates are not just reasonable, but competitive, if you want to attract top talent.
Extra Benefits and Bonuses
However, fair wages are just one criterion that top employees are looking for. These days, many companies offer plenty of other benefits and programs beyond just compensation, health, dental, and vision insurance, and the basic 401k. Some of these perks might include:
- Tuition Reimbursement Programs
- Gym Membership Options
- Stock Options
- Childcare Assistance
- Commuter Assistance
- Diversity Programs
- In-House Massages
- In-House Yoga Classes
- Excellent Parental Leave Policies
Employees want to know that if they do their jobs well, they will continue to be employed. If any employee is worried about their security at their current job, they will begin looking for their next one. This can lead to higher turnover rates.
Opportunities for Advancement
The potential for career advancement is a motivator for many employees. Instead of looking for a new position in a bigger role elsewhere, they will stay at your company if they see an opportunity to advance. Consider offering training on new skills and technologies, tickets to conferences and seminars, and free or discounted memberships to industry associations.
Benefits of Meeting Employee Needs
It is important to understand and provide for the needs of your workforce for various reasons, including company morale, productivity, and success. Plus, keeping your employees happy can result in fewer resignations. Some benefits of meeting your employees’ needs and wants include:
High Employee Retention Rates
Employers are fighting an uphill battle right now when it comes to retaining employees. A wide-open job market and employees’ willingness to leave jobs if they are unhappy means it is more critical than ever for workplaces to meet employee needs. Meeting the needs of your workforce is a key employee retention strategy.
Happy, Healthy, and Motivated Staff
When you meet the needs of your employees, you not only keep them on at your company, but you can also ensure that they are happy, healthy, and motivated to do their best work.
Employees whose needs are met are more likely to be more productive when they are on the job. Meeting the needs of your employees can dramatically improve your bottom line.
Better Publicity for Your Company
Employees who are happy working for your company will give you better reviews on websites like Glassdoor and will spread positive messages about your company via word-of-mouth. This can help you recruit more top talent.
Brightwing Talent Experts Helps You Meet the Needs of Our Current Workforce
If you are wondering “what are the current needs of our workforce?” then you have already taken a step towards meeting your employees’ needs. At Brightwing, we know that it is more difficult than ever before for employers to land top employees and connect with top talent. LinkedIn can’t create the relationships that a leading recruiting agency can. Brightwing Talent Experts can help your company connect with the right employees who are looking for what your company has to offer. That is why your company should partner with a recruiting firm. Alternatively, if you are a job seeker, our recruiters can help you find a company to work for that matches your ideals and your goals.
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