The pandemic changed how employees work and their expectations from employers and managers. The shifting expectations have made people more willing than ever to leave their jobs in search of the roles that support the changing needs.
Talent attraction and retention are top priorities for executives across the globe. About 7 in 10 executives state that they experience a labor crisis- a prominent concern in major economies.
The talent challenge shows no signs of development, despite 85% of employees in Asia feeling satisfied in their current role, approximately 2 in 5 employees plan to leave the workplace in the next 6 to 12 months.
The pressure organizes to keep up with evolving employee expectations of work and the workplace.
Option to Work Remotely is a Deal-Breaker
Today’s workplace experiences several changes to those that existed a decade ago, where every office filled the brim with occupied desks. Nearly 53% of organizations plan to adopt remote work as a permanent fixture by 2025; hybrid work is here to stay. Setting minds to achieve flexibility will make an organization adapt to accommodate the new way of working.
In early 2020, most people abruptly started working from home, experiencing a taste of life without a significant commute. Studies show that employees enjoy and never like giving up the flexibility that remote work offers. In a 2022 survey, nearly two-thirds of remote workers reported that remote work made it easier for them to find work-life balance.
Because of these experiences, employees are prioritizing their wellness and balance. A whopping 79% of participants in a survey reported that they would switch to organizations that better support their well-being.
Moreover, when asked about the key factors affecting their job satisfaction, work-life balance was at the top of the list. Approximately 76% of participants ranked work-life balance as one of the top three factors determining whether employees like their job.
The biggest challenge facing HR professionals as they grapple with a new hybrid-working world is that organizations do not have any magic formula. Moreover, no one size fits all solution for reimagining the workplace.
The challenge requires a holistic approach considering each business’s unique set-up and changing employee priorities. As we reimagine what in-person work looks like, enlisted are the core themes you need to keep in mind.
Understanding the Gap between Expectations and Reality at Work
We need to understand the gap between expectation and reality if we maximize workforce efficiency when creating an environment attracting quality talent. Although several factors are responsible for creating the gap, a lack of communication is often the primary problem. Today’s employees require clear objectives, regular performance feedback, and organizational transparency.
Is the gap between employee expectations and the reality of workplace experience holding back your organization? If there’s a lack of alignment between employee expectations on well-being and their expectation might affect business success. Patrick Cournoyer, Chief Evangelist at Peakon, opines that there is a huge expectation gap between what employees feel and what organizations offer. A successful organization closes the gap.
Emerging Employees’ Expectations
According to the Employee Expectations Report, employees now expect their employers to help address environmental concerns, forcing companies to shift their operations. Besides sharing their values, employees expect their employers to show interest in acting against them.
Inclusivity Continues to be the Top Priority
Nowadays, all generations show increasing concern about DE&I (diversity, equity, and inclusion) implications of the workplace environment. Organizations must raise the bar of their spaces to accommodate the requirements of certain collectives, including accessibility, gender identity, sexual orientation, neurodiversity, ethnicity, culture, and more. Today, more businesses are willing to offer inclusive spaces that benefit the productivity and well-being of their employees. Employees expect their employers to make a substantial effort to create a diverse, inclusive culture emerging from a place of honesty.
Positive work culture
Culture is something that makes or breaks an organization. When an organization follows a good company culture, it motivates employees to perform and fulfil the organizational goals. On the other hand, toxic culture results in low employee morale, further decreasing talent retention.
Since culture is an organization’s personality, and every tangible and intangible aspect contributes to it, leaders must establish core organizational values that keep everyone aligned. Statistics reveal that approximately 46% of job seekers cite company culture as an essential aspect of applying for a job.
Work-life must add value to your employee’s life and make it more fulfilling. Hectic schedules and work pressure derails one’s peace, making one dissatisfied. Therefore, the implementation of a work-life balance is crucial. Employees expect organizations and their leaders must understand them and offer flexible work schedules.
It balances their work life and home life. The technological revolution or digitization made the work process run virtually, making it easier for organizations to support remote working when required.
Workplace procedures and technology need updates
Besides cultural shifts, organizational leaders must create new procedures and embrace technology, allowing the new work reality we are navigating. The sudden shift to remote working that began at the start of the pandemic forced several workplaces to update legacy tools and processes, trading them for new technology supporting new work-from-home reality.
From videoconferencing that allowed conducting of virtual meetings to automated HR processes allowing paper-free employee onboarding and limited human contact, the pandemic created new interest in cutting-edge technology tools.
Technologies that most managers and organizations consider unexciting and unnecessary, like videoconferencing, phone services, collaboration tools, VPNs, and virtual desktops today, have become more essential than ever. The leaders must support the tools required by the employees to succeed in the new work reality, which might mean making updates to your organization’s existing IT infrastructure. The most successful managers and leaders will not be the ones who stay on top of new technology and embrace new tools that maintain the flexibility of their employees and are adaptable to meet their expectations.
Strategies to Manage Employees’ Expectations
Are you wondering about playing your role in successfully managing employee expectations and retaining employees? Here are some tips you can adopt while managing employee expectations at the workplace.
Start during the recruitment process
Communicate openly about your organization and the job. Remember, a vital part of recruitment is finding the right fit on both sides. Instead of conducting a traditional job interview, leaders can arrange for a typical work task in the same environment where they would work. It can be beneficial for roles where high pressure and time constraints are critical. Besides, it is not ideal to wait until the offer stage of the selection process to share information about your compensation package.
Moreover, the speed at which your company progresses candidates through the recruitment process is also important. About 81% of candidates expect a hiring process to take up to two weeks. If you take several months to confirm a start date, your employee could drop out to take another offer or start a new role with frustration and a loss of significant excitement and energy.
Transparency is the key
Besides being an important aspect of recruitment, you must maintain transparency as long as your employees stay with you. During the economic crisis and market fluctuation, you often need to make cuts or redundancies.
When this news comes from the HR department before the media report, higher levels of trust and resilience exist across the workplace. Transparency is also crucial regarding feedback on progress and productivity, boosting morale and talent retention rates.
Design career paths
Several employees are at the exploration stage of their careers. HR professionals can do an excellent deal to help employees set their expectations. You can outline opportunities so that they can advance within roles linked to their current role and move into different positions. This way, your employees do not feel stagnant and frustrated, reducing employee turnover.
Communication of company culture and values
Culture is never static in any area of life, including work. Organizational culture changes dramatically when your organization opens new offices abroad or comes under new leadership. Therefore, we as leaders must communicate to our employees about cultural change.
It helps them understand the kind of work environment to expect. Work culture also shifts in line with changes in society. Today, remote work has become the norm within numerous fields. From the pandemic’s beginning, employee expectations started shifting towards the hybrid office, remote working, and more flexibility in terms of working hours.
Employee expectations of modern businesses revolve around several aspects. It is more about offering a good employee experience to keep them happy and satisfied. When you keep your employees happy, they will take care of your organization. If you are looking to improve the way you manage expectations in your organization, Talent Intellect can help. As Asia-Pacific’s leading talent Management Company, we offer real-time insights into the productivity of your employees. We understand the complex HR challenges across industries, especially in digital disruption.