What Modern Workers Want

Dec 15, 2022

Here’s the good news: the rate at which workers are quitting their jobs has cooled over the last few months, notably for sectors that led the Great Resignation. The bad news: the job quitting rate is still 16% above pre-pandemic levels. It appears workers continue to have the bargaining power – at least for now. And they’re still looking for jobs that more closely align with their needs and priorities.

Even if the job market continues to cool and power gradually shifts back to employers, it’s important to take stock of what’s critical for today’s “modern workers” and what makes them tick. Employers who continue to make it a priority embrace and align their work culture to support the core values of workers today will be better equipped to engage, attract, and retain top talent for the future.

  1. They want to find the right fit; otherwise, they’ll quit

It’s not uncommon for workers to quit a current job even if they don’t have another job offer. According to the 2022 Job Seeker Nation Report, nearly one in every three workers would quit a job without having another one lined up and nearly half are actively looking for a new job or plan to look within the next year.

Of course, it’s easier to job hop in a hot job market, but employees are more willing to endure the pain of being temporarily out of work in order to find a job that more closely supports the things that matter most to them.  Even your satisfied workers aren’t a sure thing to stay – as 43% of satisfied workers say they remain open to other job opportunities.

  1. They want a good onboarding experience

One in every three new hires will leave a job within the first 90 days – so you’ve got to get onboarding right. Top reasons for leaving within this timeframe include: the day-to-day role is not as advertised, company culture is not as expected, or leadership is unsatisfactory.

  1. They want the option to work remotely and be compensated fairly

Remote work continues to be an important factor when determining whether to accept or reject an offer. Nearly half of all workers are willing to accept a lower salary to work remotely – but that’s no excuse to pay remote workers less than they deserve for the work they do.  Only 37% of workers feel like they are paid fairly.  Employers who fall short on compensation will likely continue to see an increase in turnover. In fact, compensation was noted as the most significant factor in the Job Seeker Report among workers who left their job in the past year.  

  1. They want mental health support

With job turnover high and the talent gap widening, workers continue to report that they feel stressed and burnt out – at a time when the number of employers offering mental health benefits and resources is at the lowest level in over three years. Now is not the time to cut back on programs that address and assess the impacts of high turnover and short-staffed teams on workload and burnout.

  1. They want a positive, supportive company culture

It takes less than a month for an employee to figure out if your company culture is a good fit – and 55% would leave a new job if the culture is not a good fit with their expectations or values. Remote work has made the focus on company culture more important than ever, as the days of relying only on in-office communication and collaboration to bolster culture are over. If you have any sense that your company culture is lacking, take the time to invest in improvements from the inside-out so that your recruiting and retention efforts won’t suffer. 

As further moderation plays out in the labor market over the next several months, workers may become more cautious when it comes to quitting or switching jobs. But the pandemic has forever changed all workers to the core. They’ll never go back to looking for the work environment that existed in pre-pandemic times – and that means companies can’t afford to revert either. The days of requiring employees to be “extremely hardcore” at the expense of work-life flexibility are over.

It’s likely that we’ll see some companies start to cut back on employee-focused programs or start to force employees back to the office as power shifts back to employers. Doing so will only continue to alienate workers and potential new-hires.

Employers who continue to focus on culture, compensation, and flexibility and who put an emphasis on the health and well-being of their employees will be the ones who are able to attract and retain the best talent for the foreseeable future.


Stay in the loop

Subscribe to our newsletter and get insights into what's going on in the insurance industry right in your inbox.