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What do employees really want from a job?

Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library

Today’s candidates know exactly what they want from their career. In fact, a recent study from CV-Library asked professionals to share their top career priorities, and it emerged that development and happiness are very important to today’s professionals. Furthermore, the research found that a staggering 81.9% of Brits would take a pay cut if it meant landing their dream role, suggesting that money is no longer the driving factor for many workers.

With this in mind, below I will explore further what it is that employees want from their job, and essentially, your business.

Opportunities for progression

The number one factor that workers consider when choosing a job is the opportunities for them to progress in their career, within that company. In fact, three quarters (73.3%) revealed that development and progression is important to them in a job, making this something businesses cannot afford to ignore. Offering staff opportunities to take on new training will help them to upskill and feel like they’re moving forward in their role. This will not only keep them motivated and productive, but is also likely to see employees sticking around for longer, leading to strong staff retention rates for your business.

Workplace perks

Over half of professionals (54.4%) said that they want workplace perks or benefits. And before you role your eyes at another business expense, remember that these don’t always have to be extravagant or expensive, especially for smaller businesses who may not have as much capital to dedicate to these sorts of things. But it’s clear that these are important to lots of professionals, and businesses should do what they can to address this. Small things can make all the difference and show your staff that you appreciate their hard work.

Here at CV-library I make sure there are free refreshments available to my staff, and we often organise after work social events or company lunches. Employees also finish an hour early on their birthday. These are just a few of the perks we have, but these benefits are low cost and effective. Ensure you are making an effort to offer the most competitive perks you can, and rewarding your current workforce, as good benefits are something many workers hope for from their job.

An accurate title

Though it may seem more trivial, employees admitted that they want a good job title, with 31.7% even stating that they would be more likely to accept a role that included the word ‘manager’ in it. Job titles are a part of your staff’s identity and it’s important to offer fair titles that accurately reflect what they do. This also opens up the opportunity for progression, changing their job title as they take on more responsibility.

An enjoyable role

For a quarter of workers (24.4%), enjoying their role is vital, with one in 10 (9.9%) stating that their daily responsibilities are a top priority when looking for a new job. When taking on new staff it’s important to ensure that job descriptions accurately reflect the role that they will be doing, that way there will be no surprises for employees when they join your company.

Furthermore, ensure that your staff are happy and enjoying their role, and create a positive company culture. This can all be achieved through perks, social events and keeping your staff driven with new and exciting training opportunities. Also be sure to create an environment of open communication so your employees can speak to you should they ever have any problems. This will all contribute to them loving their role, an important part of the job according to many of today’s professionals.

A good salary

Interestingly, salary was only a top priority for one in five job hunters (22.3%) suggesting the focus has shifted from money, to progressing and nurturing a career. That said, it goes without saying that is still important. Offering competitive salaries could help you to attract talented recruits. Not only that, but current employees want to be rewarded with fair salaries and pay rises when deserved, and this will help to keep staff motivated and feeling appreciated.

Overall it’s clear that today’s professionals want a sense of purpose from their job, and they want to build a strong career that they can nurture and develop. Working is no longer simply about paying the bills, and businesses need to be aware of this if they want to keep their workforce driven and productive. Lucky for them, keeping staff motivated can be as simple as offering new opportunities and the chance to move up the ladder. By creating good company culture that not only inspires, but helps staff to develop their career, businesses can build a strong workforce and keep their employees happy!

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