Human Capital Management

Human Capital Management

October 08, 2012

What Employees Want, as Reported in the 2012 International HR Beat Survey

A company's biggest advantage, according to many business leaders, is its people, the boots on the ground that get the job done. According to the recent results from the 2012 HR Beat survey, those people aren't shy about asking for the things they want, and the unexpected news in this is that it's not all about the money.

The 2012 HR Beat survey, staged by Dimensional Research and SuccessFactors, covered over 1,500 HR leaders, as well as hiring managers, over several major industrialized countries including the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany, among others. It also revealed some rather unexpected details about what workers wanted from their employers. Perhaps one of the biggest surprises came in the remarks of the chief learning officer of SuccessFactors, Dr. Karie Willyerd, who said, "The days of providing a one-size-fits-all benefits package and expecting employees to be happy are long gone. Business leaders who recognize the importance of tailoring benefits, providing training and mentoring programs, and leveraging social media and mobile connectivity will gain competitive advantage, win the talent wars and conquer the generation gap."

There is a significant disconnect, according to the survey, between the various age groups and what they're wanting most out of work. The most demanding, according to the survey, are the Generation X employees, which are said to range in age from 33 to 50, though this is a widely debated topic. Generation X members commonly want bigger salaries and better job titles. Meanwhile, Millennials, the generation directly after Generation X, tend to want more opportunities to develop, both on and off the job, asking for things like mentoring and training. Baby Boomers, meanwhile -- the generation just before Generation X -- generally prove to be the least demanding generation.

However, more employees across all generations are looking for non-monetary incentives, like laundry services or free massages on campus, as well as additional time off for volunteer work. Employees are also asking for different things based on their gender, with women commonly looking for reduced or flexible work hours and locations, while men are looking for more money and better titles.

Basically, businesses who want to find the best people for their particular jobs -- which is, let's face it, most of them -- will need to look in unusual directions in order to both find and keep those best people. Businesses need to embrace the change that's in the works, because finding the right worker will seldom be as simple as making an offer. Making an offer better tailored to an individual's hopes and aspirations, meanwhile, will provide much better long-term results. High turnover has a serious and negative impact on a company's bottom line, as the time spent to find and replace lost employees often translates not only into increased costs, but also, lost opportunity.

A job offer that the employee and the employer alike can live with makes for a better working environment all the way around, and in turn, better opportunities for both parties to succeed.

Edited by Rich Steeves

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