It’s a new era in the war for talent, and employees’ expectations of current and prospective employers are shifting. Increasingly, employees want employers to align with their values and make a broader impact on society. “Show me the money” is giving way to “show me your values and impact.” And when companies demonstrate this, employees are more loyal, proud, satisfied, and motivated.
Expectations are High—And Growing
At MetLife, we recently conducted a survey to explore this topic further and found:
- 81% of people in the workforce say that companies have a responsibility to do more than just run their business and provide jobs (up 6 points from 2017).
- 85% say that good corporate citizenship is important when it comes to the company where they work.
- 76% say it is important for their company to make a difference in the local community.
- 70% think companies should act more broadly and advocate or work on problems that impact employees.
Unfortunately for companies, the data also show that many employers aren’t meeting these expectations. In fact, there’s a significant gap between what employees are looking for and what companies are actually doing. For example, though 85% said that being a good corporate citizen is important in the company where they choose to work, only 57% felt their employer is being one. Additionally, while 72% said it was important to them that their company was making a difference in the world, only 47% felt their company was delivering on that expectation. And regarding environmental issues, 70% of employees said that improving the environment is an important factor for them in choosing a company to work for, but only 39% felt their employer was contributing to environmental improvement.
Doing good and having aligned values have a tangible bottom-line impact. Companies that meet or exceed employee expectations see loyalty, job satisfaction, pride, and motivation rise exponentially. Eighty-five percent of employees whose values match their company’s consider themselves to be loyal, compared to only 44% who feel loyal if values are unaligned. What’s more, when values align:
- 80% are proud to work for their company (compared to only 15% when they say their values are not aligned).
- 79% plan to stay at their current company for the foreseeable future (compared to 41% when they say their values are not aligned).
- 63% are satisfied with the job they currently have (compared to 11% when they say their values are not aligned).
- 54% are motivated to go “above and beyond” (compared to 4% when they say their values are not aligned).
As the line between work and life blurs together, where people work is increasingly becoming a part of how people identify themselves. As work becomes part of a person’s personal brand, he or she wants the workplace to support and reflect how the person views life.
Companies have a real opportunity to not only look inward and embrace the shift in employee expectation but also look outward, aligning their values and striving to make a positive societal impact.
Jon Richter is Vice President of corporate citizenship at MetLife. For more information, please visit http://www.metlife.com.