Pay and Well-being Top List of What Employees Are Seeking

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Amid the Great Resignation — which some are now calling the Great Reshuffle — pay and well-being-related issues have both risen in significance among workers, clinching the first and second spots as the most important factors in accepting a job elsewhere, according to a new Gallup poll.

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These key job attributes will likely define the war for talent in the coming year, alongside other perennial desires among employees such as a job that plays to their strengths and job security, according to the survey. In addition, COVID-19 policies and DEI priorities are also on the minds of many workers.

A significant increase in income or benefits continues to be a top priority, with 64% of employees calling it “very important” as wages are rising in response to intense competition for talent. Job seekers know there are opportunities to make more money, which gives them the confidence to seek higher pay.

“What did surprise us, however, is how much ‘pay and benefits’ have increased in importance,” said Gallup. In 2015, the same poll item came in fourth place with just 41% of respondents citing it as very important.

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Greater work-life balance and better personal well-being have also increased in importance notably since 2015, with 61% of today’s workforce citing them as “very important,” compared to 53% in 2015.

In addition, 58% of employees cite the ability “to do what they do best” as another top priority.

“Workers who aren’t allowed to use their strengths very often seek jobs where they can; workers who do get to use their strengths seek out jobs where they get to use them even more,” according to the survey.

Rounding out the top factors are greater stability and job security, with 53%; COVID-19 vaccination policies that align with my beliefs, with 43%; and working in an organization that is diverse and inclusive of all types of people, with 42%.

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“This is the first time that Gallup has offered this option for survey respondents to select and it ranks near the top for employees. Two years since the killing of George Floyd and the international Black Lives Matter protests that followed, the fact that support continues to grow for creating more equitable and inclusive workplaces is a sign of societal progress. And, as many employers have discovered, workers today are demanding concrete, substantial change on these issues, beyond platitudes,” the survey notes.

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About the Author

Yaël Bizouati-Kennedy is a full-time financial journalist and has written for several publications, including Dow Jones, The Financial Times Group, Bloomberg and Business Insider. She also worked as a vice president/senior content writer for major NYC-based financial companies, including New York Life and MSCI. Yaël is now freelancing and most recently, she co-authored  the book “Blockchain for Medical Research: Accelerating Trust in Healthcare,” with Dr. Sean Manion. (CRC Press, April 2020) She holds two master’s degrees, including one in Journalism from New York University and one in Russian Studies from Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France.
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