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7 Things Employees Want From Employers

Organizations must understand their employees’ motivations and mindsets and what employees look for in a company. 

Since the pandemic, employee needs have changed. Workers have different priorities, such as the desire for flexibility and remote work. Organizations cannot afford to fall behind in the evolution of the workplace. Those that do won’t attract and retain top talent effectively.

What do employees look for in a company?

Understanding what attracts employees to an organization or keeps them from leaving a current role requires understanding their values, aspirations, goals, priorities, and more.

The first step is understanding your employees’ needs and providing the right programs and benefits to help them stay engaged and thrive in the workplace.

Discover what employees really want and the steps you can take to attract and retain talented team members.

What do employees value most?

Forward-thinking companies know what employees want. Do you know what that is?

You can build a more productive and motivated workforce that improves your bottom line by offering these seven things employees really want.

What employees want in the workplace

Employee needs, and priorities have shifted. What may have been attractive to potential candidates in the past may miss the mark with current prospects. Prioritize these components in your workplace culture to meet employee needs.

Recognition and appreciation

Employee recognition is the cornerstone of effective management. Therefore, organizations must demonstrate appreciation for employees as competition for talent increases. 

A recent study found that employees showed a 56 percent increase in job performance when they felt a sense of belonging. Employee recognition increases the feeling of belonging, another reason people stay in their positions.

Read more: 15 Virtual Employee Recognition Ideas

What do employees want for recognition?

There are many ways an organization can recognize employees. Some examples include: 

  • Tenure milestones
  • Meeting or surpassing quantitative company goals
  • Promotions
  • Effort-based recognition
  • Recognition for enacting desired company values

What can organizations do to reward employees for their achievements? 

One, you can start by paying team members more. Sixty-four percent of workers rated an increase in income or benefits as “very important” when vetting a company. Employees want to do good work and get paid fairly for it. 

As employees develop more skills and hit additional milestones, rewarding them with higher pay shows that you appreciate and value their work.

You can also make sure to praise employees through various channels. For example, recognizing team members during all-hands meetings or communication platforms.

“One of the things that we’ve started to do is build a kudos channel. So, every time we see a good pitch or reps build a good presentation template, we share it in the kudos channel and make sure the team understands what is this deal? Why are we highlighting this deal? That’s very important to apply the learnings and experience to the rest of the team. So we really encouraged that incentive-wise, that support internally and then the cross-regional teamwork. It kind of brings a lot of value and efficiencies.”


Shuo Wang, Co-Founder & CRO, Deel

Work-life balance and personal well-being

The new trend is the freedom to work when, where, and how employees want.  A recent study found more than half of the workforce is considering moving to a hybrid or full-time remote position. 

Remote work gives people more work-life balance and fulfillment in their jobs and leads to several advantages, including: 

  • Increased productivity
  • Less stressed employees
  • Higher retention rates
  • More engaged staff

Besides remote work opportunities, some other ways to show you value employee happiness and well-being are:

  • Educating team members on healthy work-life balance
  • Promoting unplugged hours after work
  • Offering flexible schedules
  • Encouraging employees to use their PTO 
  • Providing opportunities for learning and development
  • Having clear and open communication between leaders and employees

Consider that about 68 percent of workers surveyed by FlexJobs claimed they’d change careers for better work-life balance vs. switching positions for better pay. So you must prioritize what employees value: personal well-being through better work-life balance.

Read more: How to Prioritize Mental Health in the Workplace

More money and benefits

Pre-determined pay raises are always a plus, but offering competitive pay and additional employee benefits can help to attract top talent. 

A recent report by SHRM found job seekers are searching for:

  • Mental health benefits
  • Generous PTO
  • Workplace flexibility. Flexible hours with remote work options
  • Better parental leave options

Knowing this, employers can stay competitive by thinking beyond base salary compensation and reevaluating their benefits package. 

In addition to healthcare and 401Ks, consider the following as value-adds to your employee benefits package: 

  • Mental health clinical services and preventative care
  • Increased company equity
  • Tuition reimbursement
  • Flexible parental leave options
  • More vacation time and PTO
  • Paternal and maternal parental leave
  • Commuter stipends
  • Employee sabbaticals
  • Financial wellness assistance

After all, it’s a job seeker’s market right now. The competition for talent is fierce, and the organizations that heed employee needs will claim top candidates.

Read more: Why Transparency is a Form of Currency with Lexi Clarke, CPO, Payscale

Job stability and security

About 27 percent of U.S. workers worry about job security. Employees want to feel that they will have a job in the future. 

Organizations can make team members feel safe, secure, and valued through initiatives that increase employee engagement and reduce turnover, such as:

  • Giving regular constructive feedback
  • Empowering team members with a clear learning and development plan and/or employee development plan
  • Making leadership accessible for one-on-one meetings

Employees need to feel a sense of job security and the assurance that they can speak up and share ideas. Through an experiment, Google found that emphasizing psychological safety in the workplace led to higher performance.

Similarly, companies that want to stay competitive need to follow suit by implementing their own initiatives. 

Inclusive workforces

One cannot overstate the importance of inclusion within an organization. Employees tend to stay in their positions longer and produce higher-quality work when they feel included. In addition, workers want to feel like their jobs give them personal value and meaning. 

Some ways to create inclusivity in your workplace are:

  • Creating social learning opportunities where teams can connect 
  • Offering a mentorship program
  • Celebrating employee differences 
  • Prioritizing communication and setting goals to measure progress
  • Training leaders to listen to employees and provide constructive feedback

Outcomes over output

Better outcomes are often correlated with higher outputs. However, it’s not always the case. Large organizations are taking notice of the demand for a different approach. Citrix conducted a recent study that found employees want to change how productivity is measured. 

Today’s workforce wants to be valued for their work and trusted with that responsibility. Citrix also found that 86 percent of employees prefer to work for an organization that rewards outcomes over outputs. 

Many organizations have adopted remote-first or hybrid working models. These organizations need to adopt a trust-first, output-focused attitude.

“I default to trust people first. You need to trust that people will work hard, do their job, and be very focused on their output. I assume people always have the best interest of the company and themselves. This model enables people to operate. They give their best selves.”


Alex Bouaziz, CEO and Co-Founder, Deel


But this involves a shift in mindset for leadership. Rather than measuring hours worked or tracking keystrokes, look at specific objectives and key results (OKRs). A collaborative goal-setting framework like OKRs helps you measure what matters most: the results, not the progress. 

OKRs vary by department and team. Want to check out some examples by department? Read OKR Examples by Koan. 

Career growth and development

Employees want to do what they are naturally good at and work on stimulating tasks. The ones that aren’t working with their natural strengths? They feel unfulfilled and tend to leave jobs 12x faster. 

Through learning and development initiatives, organizations can increase employee engagement and ensure the retention and development of their workforce.

Some ways to show employees you value career growth are: 

  • Creating an internal company job board
  • Showcasing clear paths for internal promotions
  • Creating personalized learning and development programs
  • Establishing a mentorship initiative

Many companies are already getting ahead with learning and development by onboarding platforms like WorkRamp to make career advancement a reality. 

“Through partnerships with platforms like WorkRamp and processes that support the ‘new normal’ of flexible work environments, the big goal is to make sure that the learning team helps people achieve their learning goals efficiently, effectively, and with a smile!”


Alex Love, Senior Director of Learning, Development, Unite Us

Give employees what they want

It’s up to you to give your employees what they value most, help them feel safe, secure, and fulfilled in their roles, and do better work for your organization. 

Discover how the Learning Cloud from WorkRamp can help you create learning and development programs to promote continuous improvement and create an engaged, unstoppable team. Contact us to schedule a free demo.


Complete the form for a custom demo.

Michael Keenan

WorkRamp Contributor

Michael is a SaaS marketer living in Guadalajara, Mexico. Through storytelling and data-driven content, his focus is providing valuable insight and advice on issues that prospects and customers care most about. He’s inspired by learning people’s stories, climbing mountains, and traveling with his partner and Xoloitzcuintles.

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