Just 1 in 4 employees worldwide genuinely enjoy their work

10-country survey highlights changed expectations of workforce

Just 1 in 4 employees worldwide genuinely enjoy their work

Nearly half of employees worldwide (46%) would not recommend their company or their profession to their children or any young person they care about, according to a survey.

And 38% of employees globally said, “I wouldn’t wish my job on my worst enemy.”

These are among the highlights of a recent report by The Workforce Institute at UKG looking at workforce expectations for 2030 and beyond.

“There has been a massive shift in how people view the role of work in their lives. The pandemic forced most of us to reflect on our life-work journeys and realize there are many more important things in life than work. Some people are disheartened because work is failing to meet their expectations and are looking for organizations to step up and support them, including in new ways that have never been on the HR or leadership agenda before, so they can have flexibility and
means to put time into what matters most to them,” says the report We Can Fix Work.

Cases of quiet quitting among employees have increased since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to employers and HR leaders.

Low engagement levels

The UKG 10-country survey found that most workers say the pandemic made them realize there are more important things in life than work (89%), that they’re rethinking the qualities they look for in an employer (70%).

Also notable: 45% of employees worldwide don’t want to work anymore, period.

However, most employees (84%) say they would still work even if they won the lottery, finds the survey of 2,200 employees in Australia/New Zealand, Canada, France, Germany, India, Mexico, the Netherlands, U.S. and U.K., along with 600 HR executives in the U.S.

“This indicates that people inherently want to work and feel valued, yet they are struggling to find satisfaction or a sense of purpose in their current role,” says the report.

Only 23% of employees genuinely enjoy their work and are passionate about their careers while 61% admit they go to work to collect a paycheck, “clock out,” and go home.

A pilot program involving several employers worldwide adopting a four-day workweek has proved a big success.

Greater expectations

Through the research, UKG discovered employees worldwide want more from the workplace:

  • 76% have increased expectations for how their company supports them
  • 70% are rethinking the qualities they look for in an employer
  • 78% think their company owes them more than just compensation

“People want to work because it gives them dignity and purpose, but the ways they are working and the ways they feel about their workplace culture
today aren’t aligned with what they want out of work. People are looking for a job that gives them fulfillment and purpose, especially after three years
of living and working through Covid conditions,” says Dan Schawbel, managing partner at Workplace Intelligence.

As a result, the UKG report recommends “adapt quickly” by connecting employees to purpose — through enhanced leader communications; making employees feel heard — through surveys, stay interviews, one-on-one meetings and town halls — and encouraging people to disconnect and recharge through taking their deserved time off.

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