Understanding Employee Expectations for the Future

employee expectations work life balance

Now that we’ve moved into a new decade, it’s more important than ever for businesses to take a step back and reflect on the kind of work experience their employees deserve.

By taking employee needs and expectations into account, it’ll be easier for team leaders to create supportive, productive, and engaging work environments.

Read on to learn more about employee expectations in 2021, both for the organizations they work for and the leaders who manage them.

Why should you care about employee expectations?

Some people in leadership positions might not think about their employees’ expectations much, if at all. They might only focus on their expectations for the team without taking into account the needs of individual team members.

This attitude toward employee expectations isn’t uncommon, but it is outdated. It fails to set teams (or entire businesses, for that matter) up for long-term success and optimal productivity and profitability.

The power of employee feedback

The truth is that employees are powerful – more powerful today than they’ve ever been in the past. With the push of a few buttons on employment websites like LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and Indeed – workers can leave detailed reviews about what it’s like to work for a particular company.

If active employees leave positive reviews, there’s a good chance that the company will have an easier time attracting more talented, hardworking, productive employees in the future. If they leave negative reviews, on the other hand, the company may struggle to recover and bring in the kind of employees they want.

One way to increase the likelihood that employees will leave positive reviews and speak favorably of the company in other contexts is for leaders and managers to make sure they are meeting employee expectations. If they know what workers are looking for and can provide a work environment that satisfies those needs, their team members will repay them in employee advocacy.

Another way to encourage feedback is to create and use employee satisfaction surveys in the workplace. By understanding how engaged and satisfied your employees are, you’ll be able to make active adjustments to your work processes to ensure workplace happiness.

Increased productivity and profitability

In addition to an increase in positive reviews and a better reputation, when companies value and meet employee expectations, they also get happier, more engaged, and more productive employees.

Workers who feel that they are valued and viewed as individuals will work harder and be more loyal to a company than those who feel that they are just cogs in a machine. Their levels of engagement will increase, which leads to fewer absences, reduced tardiness, and better morale overall. Read this post to learn ways how to measure employee engagement.

Is this the kind of workplace you envision for yourself and the team? If so, start learning about what your employees want. Then, work to meet (or even exceed) their expectations.

What do employees expect for the future?

Now, let’s get specific. What are employees, in general, looking for in the workplace in 2021? What kind of expectations do they have for their coworkers and team leaders?

The following are some of the most common expectations workers report having:

Flexibility and work-life balance

The results of a survey from IBM revealed that one of the most common expectations employees have in 2021 is flexibility and a great sense of work-life balance.

Workers in 2021 don’t want to be chained to their desks and married to the office. They want to do their jobs well and be productive, but they also want to have time to spend with their families and the freedom to do other things they enjoy.

One way that employers and team leaders can meet this expectation is by offering remote work options.

If we’ve learned anything from the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s that many jobs can be done from home with equal or greater levels of productivity. By giving employees the freedom to do work anywhere they want, businesses can set their workers up for long-term success.

Emotional and physical well-being

Employees expect their employers to care about their physical and emotional well-being. They want to have good healthcare and benefits. Additionally, they want to know that they can take a day off work when they’re sick without jeopardizing their standing at the company.

Employees prioritize their mental health and expect their employers to as well. They don’t want to burn out and push themselves to their breaking point. Nor do they want to be constantly on edge, worrying that they’re going to be disciplined or harshly criticized for small mistakes.

Diversity and inclusion

Employees care about diversity and inclusion, too. They want to know that their employers share their values and have a commitment to a more equitable work environment for everyone.

These days, many employees are looking into companies’ diversity and inclusion mission statements before they apply for specific positions. They also want to know what’s going on behind the scenes to uphold that mission. It’s really amazing when companies use this data in their job postings – here is a great example.

At the same time, jobseekers don’t want to see performative activism from their potential employers. They want to know that their employers truly value workers from all walks of life.

Good compensations and benefits

Workers want to be compensated fairly for their time. They expect a livable wage, especially if they’re working in a part of the country that has a high cost of living.

It’s important to note, though, that fair compensations and benefits are only part of the picture. Approximately 66 percent of workers have said that they would be willing to take a pay cut if the culture at their workplace was supportive and offered them a high level of flexibility.

Are you meeting your employees’ expectations?

Now that you know more about what employees want out of the workplace in 2021 and beyond, what do you think about your approach to business management or leadership?

Are you creating the kind of work environment that Millennial and Gen Z employees, in particular, will want to be part of?

If not – it’s time to start thinking about how you can change that. Keep the information discussed above in mind so you can start adapting your office for the new generation of workers.

A simple step to keep everyone on track is using a software like Weekdone. Weekdone is a simple and effective team management software loved by employees and managers! Try it today for free!