What employees want (It’s not what you might think)

What employees want (It’s not what you might think)

What employees want (It’s not what you might think)

14 Apr 2021

What employees want (It’s not what you might think) teaser When good staff are in short supply, it helps to know what today’s employees want. AR Advisors Director Kris Elliot shares a list.

When jobs were harder to come by, WA employers had the pick of the bunch. But with mining, tourism and residential construction leading a healthy WA economy, hanging on to good staff is becoming ever-more important.

WA has also been missing its seasonal workforce of international backpackers and that’s been having an enormous impact on industries such as hospitality and farming, which now have to recruit from the local pool.

Even without demand for staff, retaining an employee is generally far more cost-effective than attracting a new one. There’s no handover, training or upskilling required, which in many roles can be both costly and time-consuming. You’re not waiting for the new person to get up to speed, to prove themselves or to settle in either.

So what can you do to maintain a great team when there are opportunities elsewhere to tempt them?
As with so many things, it starts with a conversation. Find out what your employees value and want. (Spoiler alert, it’s not always money).

You’ll probably find work-life balance crops up a lot, something more employees have had a taste of during the pandemic. Regular communication also means employees are less likely to feel they have to threaten to leave, in order to be valued or to achieve their work goals.

So what do today’s employees want?

Flexible hours: The old-school 9-to-5 is fast disappearing in favour of flexible hours that still get the job done, but fit in with school hours, fitness routines and family commitments.

Work from home: Remote working isn’t for everyone, but more people than ever are looking for the option to work away from the office.

Pay review: While proper remuneration and regular pay reviews are important, today they’ll often take a back seat to other benefits that help achieve a work-life balance.

Relaxed hierarchy: An enjoyable team environment is a priority for many employees. Today it’s far less about the boss and their minions, and more about the team.

Opportunities: Every employee is different in terms of what drives them, but clear job progression and opportunities are important for many.

Good corporate citizens: While this varies depending on the industry, employees are also consumers, and more and more consumers want to see businesses send a positive environmental message.

Community involvement: Sponsorship, busy-bees and fundraising help employees give back to their community.

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