Following the great recession of the 2008-2009 era, which has seen slow but steady recovery in the unemployment rate, there has been a fundamental shift in the way employees consider work and their various employment options. It used to be that people would stay in a place for twenty or thirty years and retire there. Some people just take the first job they are offered and work their way up and out. More and more, though, people are job hopping as better opportunities pop up or as they are recruited. The most talented can be heavily recruited, leaving other companies struggling to fill the void and retain their best employees. Workplace satisfaction research has taken on a life of its own, as companies sprint to try and stay ahead of their competition. Below are some of the biggest factors they are looking at as a result of some of this research.
- Benefits: Do employees leave because better benefits are offered elsewhere, such as employer matching for retirement funds? Better vacation leave, sick leave, and stock options are all huge factors contributing to job hopping. Health insurance offerings used to be a big one as well, but has declined in importance as a factor in job searching because of the Affordable Care Act.
- Commute: The ability to telework, or work closer to where they live in general is a reason many people switch jobs now. Roads are getting more and more congested, and gas prices motivate anyone to drive less. If telecommuting is an option, people can avoid or limit their commute altogether, which is an encouraging prospect for many.
- Office space: Is the office well lit? Are the cube walls too high and blocking light? The difference between an actual office and cubicles is big for many, though not all, employees, and could be a factor in some choosing one job location over another. It is possible you might not have control over the office space in which your employees work, but there are little things that can be done to spruce up an area in which people spend many of their waking hours. There are options such as different furniture or cubicle walls that might make sense even in a pre-fabricated office building. MacBride Office Furniture offers a variety of new and used office furniture and cubicle walls that can be customized to suit your office’s precise needs.
- Environment: Is the environment collaborative and creative? Or are people more independent and do their own work on their own time without needing much from others? This will vary wildly depending on the type of work, and prospective employees could be attracted to either type of work environment depending on their own personal styles. This is one that has to simply meet the needs of the company, because it cannot change on a whim to suit each new employee that comes on board.
It is wise to not make any of these decisions in a vacuum if one of these is facing you within your company. Assessing the employees’ needs as well as the business’s will help make the best decision for all parties involved.