Managing on Their Own

Much has changed since the first official Labor Day in America was enacted by Congress and signed into law by President Grover Cleveland in 1894.

Back then, workers sought job stability and most seemed comfortable with the idea of staying with the same company until retirement.

But, while that percentage has decreased over time, new research indicates that only 2 percent of workers now rank job stability as a high priority for their next position.

It now seems that the top three priorities workers want from their next jobs are: interesting work (29 percent), meaningful work (18 percent) and work/life balance, also at 18 percent.

People realize that no job is permanent, that change is now normal and that they have considerable control over their own career – both with their present employer and a prospective one. It’s not that workers don’t want job stability, it’s that they know “that employers can’t guarantee that” in this day and age. So, people are really looking for work that works for them.

Other attractions for job candidates are financial reward (14 percent), opportunity for promotion (8 percent), cultural fit (6 percent) and a boss they trust (4 percent).

The survey of 976 participants across 33 countries, with three-fourths of respondents based in the United States, also found that women are slightly more likely than men to seek interesting work (30 percent versus 26 percent, respectively) or work/life balance (20 percent versus 14 percent, respectively).

Most workers understand that they, not their employers, need to control their careers, according to the survey, which found that the majority (57 percent) of respondents don’t expect their employers to provide clear career paths – and that is a sentiment that increases with age.

The drive to climb the corporate ladder, however, is slightly stronger in the Asia Pacific region, where 11 percent of employees are more likely to pursue jobs that provide an opportunity for promotion, compared to 8 percent in North America or 7 percent in Europe.

A huge cultural shift has pushed away the idea in younger workers’ minds that taking a job results in a lifetime commitment. Most of the workers today, even professional ones, view their position as one where they view themselves as free agents who can move from one job to another without recourse.

While they may consider themselves free agents, that does not mean that younger workers don’t want to contribute positively to their companies. There’s an expectation among younger people coming into the workforce that their jobs should provide more than just a paycheck, and that the job is fulfilling towards what they see themselves as doing during their lifetime.

If there’s a way to allow for more decision-making or input from employees, that tends to help employees to view themselves more as contributors, and thus make them more likely to stay at their jobs.

In addition, managers are uniquely placed to help satisfy employees, as they know each member of staff well and are able to help him or her connect the dots between the type of work the employee wants to do and what kind of work the organization values.

Of course, keeping hold of valuable members of the workforce is a top priority for successful corporations, many of whom are implementing rotating or flexitime working, to enable their staff to preserve a positive work/life balance.

Tensor manufacture and supply time and attendance systems that accurately record and process your employees’ clocking data. Multiple shift patterns can be monitored, analyzed and reported upon, giving you all the information needed for accurate processing of working time.

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