-- Scottsdale, AZ -- Employees are putting their safety, security, and personal values over money and titles according to the results of the Worker Value Survey, one of the largest of its kind, conducted by WorldatWork, the Total Rewards Association for HR professionals. The study of more than 5,400 working professionals uncovered significant workplace shifts and reflects the impact of COVID-19 lockdowns and social justice protests.
The survey found that employees value safety more than money and want to align with leaders who take a clear stance on issues in which they believe. The survey also dug into what benefits are most important.
“There has been a reckoning. The American Dream — bigger title, more pay — has been pushed aside and replaced with, ‘I want what I do to have meaning; to have a job that makes an impact; and a safe environment that values me as a whole person,” says Scott Cawood, CEO, WorldatWork.
The survey provides insights into how COVID-19 and the current political environment have pushed core values and current issues to the forefront of the employer/employee conversation. Findings can help business leaders design and deliver Total Rewards programs that give workers a sense of purpose and meaning in their lives.
According to the survey, employees say:
“This attitudinal shift -- across all generations - has implications well beyond the short-term accommodations that companies are making because of the pandemic. Companies must pay attention or risk losing talent to others who are putting employees first,” says Cawood.
Benefits that matter most now
The survey also looked at what benefits matter most to today’s professionals. While employees would like to engineer perfect work and life balances, when asked to rank benefits in order of importance, health insurance outranked lifestyle perks such as paid time off, flexible work schedules, and the ability to work remotely. Scoring 21 points higher than any other benefit, 45% of respondents said health insurance was the most/second most important benefit their company could offer.
Offering a retirement or 401K plan came in second, with 25% of respondents choosing it as their first or second most important benefit. Flexible work schedules and the ability to work from home came in fourth and fifth, respectively.