The phase of the Great Resignation seems not to have passed yet. The new definition of work has emphasised flexibility, as sought by the employees. According to a new survey conducted by PWC, one out of five employees is likely to switch jobs in the next twelve months.
The study titled Global Workforce Hopes and Fears found that 35% are planning to ask their employer for more money in the next 12 months. Pressure on pay is highest in the tech sector with 44% of respondents planning to ask for a raise and while the public sector is at the bottom of the scale (25%).
While salary hike is the topmost priority (71%) causing job change, wanting a fulfilling job (69%) and wanting to truly be themselves at work (66%) round out the top 3 things workers are looking for. Nearly half (47%) prioritised being able to choose where they work.
According to data, workers who are likely to look for a new employer in the next 12 months are less likely to feel satisfied with their current employer. Out of those seeking job change, 14% noted that their job is not fulfilling, 11% noted that they hardly can be themselves at work and 9% pointed less likely to have felt fairly rewarded financially.
Polarity of ideologies and effects of watercooler chats
The survey found that 65% of workers discuss social and political issues with colleagues frequently or sometimes, with the number higher for younger workers (69%) and ethnic minorities (73%). While business leaders are sometimes nervous about people bringing these potentially polarising issues to work, the impact is positive. 79% of those who talk about social and political issues at work reported at least one positive consequence from that.
These discussions are happening despite little active effort on the part of organisations to help secure positive outcomes. Only 30% of employees say that their company provides support to help them work effectively with people who share different views.
The survey showed that workers have a particular interest in their employer's impact on the economy, climate and society. Half of the workers (53%) felt it was important that their employer is transparent about their impact on the environment, two-thirds (65%) felt transparency about health and safety was critical, with transparency about the economic impact not far behind at 60%, followed by diversity and inclusion efforts at 54%.
Commenting on this, Bhushan Sethi, Co-Leader of PwC's Global People and Organisation services said, "Diverse workforces will inevitably bring differences of opinion about major societal issues into their workplaces. Leaders need to ensure these discussions can benefit teams rather than dividing them.The role of employers isn't to tell workers what to think, but to give them a voice, choice and safe environment to share feelings, listen and learn about how these issues are impacting their colleagues. Workers, especially younger and ethnic minorities feel the benefits of engaging in respectful and tolerant conversations."
Disparities within the workforce
Women were 7 points less likely than men to say they are fairly rewarded financially, but still 7 points less likely to ask for a raise. Women were also 8 points less likely to ask for a promotion, and that request is more likely to fall on deaf ears – as women are 8 points less likely than men to feel their manager listens to them.
Significant differences between generations were also spotted, with Gen Z workers less satisfied with their job and twice as likely as Baby Boomers to be concerned that technology will replace their role in the next three years.
One of the most important drivers of polarisation is the skills gap. The data shows that those with desired skillset (29% of the sample feel they have skills that are in short supply in their country) are more likely to feel satisfied with their job (70%) than those (52%) who don’t possess the skills needed. The former also feel heard by their managers (63% v 38%) and have money left over after they pay their bills (56% v 44%).
Carol Stubbings, PwC's Global Tax and Legal Services Leader said, "In a tight labour market, it is even more important that organisations take a human-led, tech-powered approach. That means investing in both digital transformation and in skills. Investment should be guided by a principle of equity, with a focus on strengthening the capabilities of skilled employees, providing access routes for those who lack skills and automation that frees up people to do what only people can do.”
She further added that it is as much about apprenticeships as graduate recruitment, and requires a commitment to constant upskilling. Targeted investment across the skills mix is good for companies, good for individuals and - because it avoids entrenching disempowerment - good for society.
Some other key findings from the survey include:
- 45% of respondents said their job could not be done remotely
- 63% say they prefer some mix of in-person and remote working - the same proportion who said they expect their employer to offer that mix for at least the next 12 months
- 26% of employees would prefer full-time remote work, but only 18% say their employers are likely to adopt that model.
- Another 18% say that their employers are likely to require full-time in-person work, which just 11% of employees prefer.