We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: If you want to attract top talent you need to have the technology candidates crave; with the modern workforce, it’s in their DNA. Randstad US has released new data that reveals the extent to which job satisfaction is dependent on an employer’s ability to use and offer digital tools for employee development and support.
Based on responses from more than 800 C-suite leaders and department heads, as well as nearly 3,000 workers across the U.S., the Workplace 2025: The Post-Digital Frontier study uncovered that employees’ engagement is greatly influenced by the amount and quality of digital tools and development opportunities at work.
However, only 42% of companies completely or strongly agree they are restructuring their HR departments or revising their strategies to leverage digital and mobile tools, and only 51% of those that are say they are highly or very effective at doing so.
“Our survey findings serve as a wake-up call to business leaders that their overall digital readiness could make or break them, as the digitally-driven expectations and needs of the modern workforce have changed,” says Jim Link, Chief Human Resources Officer, Randstad North America. “In fact, even the most time-honored frameworks for achieving fulfillment in the workplace, like Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, need to evolve to include digital elements and how they can be used to deliver an exceptional employee experience.”
Digital Tools Lead to More Satisfied Workers
The research demonstrates how digital tools now play a leading role in employee satisfaction across organizations of all sizes and industries, and how a robust digital strategy impacts Maslow’s three categories of needs—basic, psychological, and self-fulfillment.
It is widely accepted that certain basic, physical needs are essential for workplace satisfaction. Yet the Randstad survey uncovered that the most important needs are related to technology. In fact, when asked to rank the importance of the physical aspects of their workplace, workers named the following by importance:
- My work computer/laptop/device (75%)
- Fast internet and Wi-Fi (68%)
- My office space/cubicle space (55%)
- Air conditioning and heating (47%)
- My office chair (31%)
- Clean bathrooms (24%)
Confidence Improves Success
In order for psychological needs to be met in the workplace, employees must have positive self-esteem, which has historically been tied to rewards and recognition from their managers and peers. However, job satisfaction is now also linked to an individual’s confidence in their ability to succeed not only in their current job, but also in their long-term career.
“Feeling equipped with the latest digital and technology skills” was among the top factors cited for job satisfaction, followed by “savings or financial assistance programs (e.g., 401(k), tuition reimbursement, etc.)” and “vacation.” And, the majority of workers feel strongly about the need to acquire these skills and agree with the following:
- I believe every job requires technology expertise today (60%).
- I want to acquire new digital skills in order to further my career (55%).
- I am excited about the potential for technology to create new career opportunities for me (51%).
However, less than half of respondents (45%) say their employers encourage skill development, and only one-third agree their employers offer them ample opportunities to acquire digital skills with training or on-the-job learning.
Digital Tools Aid in Collaboration, but Face-to-Face Contact Is Most Important
Despite increased focus on digitization, the survey findings revealed that employees also have a strong desire for human connection in order to reach the highest level of employees’ needs as Maslow defined them (self-fulfillment and peak personal growth). When asked to name what impacted their sense of belonging at work, 72% named face-to-face interactions with their bosses.
“By ensuring the digital needs of employees are met on the basic and psychological levels at work, employers set the stage for better mentoring and leadership in the workplace, as the time and energy technology saves in day-to-day job functions frees employees’ time to make more meaningful connections with one another,” said Link.
Using the knowledge you’ve gained from the above data, you’ll be able to better recruit workers in the modern, digital era. You’ll also be able to fulfill your existing workforce’s’ needs based on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Want to learn more? Click here for more information on Maslow’s theory at work.