Times are changing and so are the demands of today’s professionals. Once upon a time, a good title, a decent payslip, and the potential to move up in a company would keep top talent on hand. In 2020, the shift to work-from-home changed the way employers and their people looked at employment. And now, in the post-COVID era, the workforce has undergone a shift we never imagined. 

So, what is it that modern working professionals really want? Flexibility and work-from-home are high priorities now, but it’s important to understand the motivations behind these priorities and what people are really looking for when searching for their next position. 

Let’s take a look at a few of the main drivers that keep people happy at work.

Empowerment and trust

Empowerment and trust have a direct impact on the extra mile people are willing to go in the workplace. 

In today’s age of global hybrid and remote work, micro-management isn’t something modern professionals tolerate—the Great Resignation and the search for greater flexibility and autonomy at work illustrated just how antiquated people think it should be. This is where empowerment and trust come into play.

When a company gives its people autonomy, a chance to control their day-to-day and contribute to important decisions within the company, each person feels empowered and filled with a real sense of purpose in the workplace. According to Gartner, 65 percent of professionals surveyed were rethinking the place work had in their lives post-pandemic and 56 percent wanted to contribute more to society. The sense of empowerment naturally leads to improved rates of employee satisfaction, productivity, and results.

When companies empower their people, they feel satisfied by their work and produce better results. It goes without saying that this is critical to any organization’s success.

Progressive benefits

According to Gallup, benefits and salary have risen to the number one priority for today’s professionals, with 64 percent stating that it’s critical when they are searching for a new job. This is in large part due to the competitive job market, giving workers more confidence and leverage to make big demands, even in the face of a rocky economy. 

So, what are people really interested in when it comes to benefits? Today’s professionals want to find a mix of traditional benefits and progressive, groundbreaking benefits that show that a company cares about its people and their wellbeing: 

  • A competitive salary, including retirement benefits
  • A generous vacation package
  • Wellness programs including gym memberships
  • On-site health and medical care including mental health programs 
  • Flexible work schedules, including work-from-anywhere policies
  • Parental leave for both primary caregivers
  • Equity or stock options 

Providing vast benefits packages may not be easy for some companies. It’s ok to introduce a few of these ideas and add more over time. Not only can offering great benefits motivate people to stick with your company, it can offset the high costs of recruiting and help keep the business lean.

L&D and professional growth opportunities

At the end of the day, people want to join a company and stick around for a long time. But, they don’t want to remain static in their work. 

People need to see their growth trajectory within a company clearly. When they do, it goes far. First, it gives them a sense of personal purpose and sense of accomplishment. Second, envisioning a long-term place at a company is a big motivator, boosting retention and employee satisfaction. 

But how can you nurture people’s sense of personal growth and purpose as valued, long-term team members? The key is to create opportunities for your people to learn through lectures, mentorships with more senior colleagues, and courses (online and in person). You can even provide annual L&D budgets people can use to purchase development programs of their choice (did we say employee empowerment?!).

Life-work balance

Work-life balance is one of today’s professionals’ top priorities. But we prefer HiBob CEO, Ronni Zehavi’s take on it: It’s not work-life balance, but life-work balance. Why? Because life comes first. 

People in the post-COVID world recognize that being stuck in an office five days a week isn’t for everyone and isn’t necessary to get quality work done. Most importantly, they’ve realized that working remotely doesn’t necessarily affect productivity. If anything, it boosts it. Giving people the flexibility to work from home (or even better: anywhere they want in the world!) is critical for today’s workforce.

But, the life-work balance goes beyond the ability of a parent to pick up their kid from baseball practice on time because they work from home. It’s all about adjusting a company’s culture to support the needs of its people (ask them if you aren’t sure). Supporting a flexible workforce improves wellness, reduces burnout, and helps build business-critical relationships built on trust.

Make your people happy by giving them what they want (and need)

Understanding what today’s professionals want from their employers is the key to building a successful and inviting work culture that people want to stick with for a long time. By engaging and supporting your teams, you can build a robust company culture built on modern values and trust. When you give your people with the progressive benefits, flexibility, and trust that define the new world of work, it keeps them happy and productive—and it keeps your company competitive.

Tali Sachs

From Tali Sachs

Tali is a content marketing manager at HiBob. She's been writing stories since before she knew what to do with a pen and paper. When she's not writing, she's reading sci-fi, snuggling with her cats, or singing at an open mic.