- A majority (52%) of employed adults say they’re content in their roles and not engaged in an employment search right now, although job satisfaction appears to be generational, with nearly a quarter of Gen Z (23%) and Millennials (24%) compared to 14% of Gen X actively searching for a new job, according to a CareerBuilder/Harris Poll survey released Sept. 1.
- Work schedules are the biggest draw, with 56% of employed adults saying it attracts them most to their current role. It’s especially important to women (61%) as opposed to men (51%).
- Other appealing factors include colleagues (48%); fair pay (46%) and work-life balance (43%). Outside of common work perks and an employer’s current offerings, 30% of respondents would like to work a four-day week; 24% seek mental health and wellness benefits; and 21% prefer to work remotely full time.
The concept of a four-day workweek isn’t new. But due to pandemic-triggered shifts in priority, such as employees’ increased desire for flexibility and employers’ need to fill labor shortages in a tight market, there may be more pressure now to make the change.
Earlier this year, execs at two companies spoke with HR Dive about their success with the four-day workweek. Before making any changes, businesses should first consider for whom the policy will be implemented, the execs suggested. HR pros can also study other organizations’ successful initiatives.
Another tip: Because four-day workweeks often amount to a reduction in hours rather than shifting the same hours into fewer workdays, business leaders should determine which tasks waste time and how to strategize for outcomes that matter for company success, the execs said. And yes, their change to a four-day workweek did seem to reduce burnout and help with retention, they noted.
This success points to another emerging trend — basing work around productivity rather than hours worked. In a 2021 survey by consulting firm Robert Half, 41% of the senior managers who responded said they let employees pick their own hours, while 27% didn’t mind if employees put in fewer than 40 hours a week if they get their work done.
That employees in the CareerBuilder survey say their colleagues make the job appealing confirms one expert’s observations that friendship is an important part of connecting at work, which in turn gives employees a sense of belonging and keeps them from jumping ship. Friendship, along with sponsorship, mentorship and trust, are aspects of social capital, and employees with social capital are more likely to feel engaged, the expert said.
Employers can help employees build social capital by developing social network maps to identify bridge builders — people who are naturally good at making connections with others, the expert added. But employers should encourage the network maps to be diverse, so they’re creating a mix of demographics and job functions, she said.