Work-life balance the most important to professionals in the East Midlands

Robert Walters Group employees in fruit costumes on global charity day

Almost three quarters (70%) of professionals in the East Midlands consider work-life balance as a key factor when considering a new job offer. 

This compares with around half of employees in other regions who rank work-life balance as a key priority - North East (50%), Wales (53%), Scotland (55%), South East (55%) and London (58%). 

This coincides with employees in the East Midlands being one of one of the least loyal, with almost half (43%) of employees having been with their current employer for less than a year. 

The findings come from a new report from leading recruiter Robert Walters and job board CV-Library on meeting candidate demands through the job offer.

The report found that a quarter of professionals from the region would remain with their current employer even if there was another job offer on the table, providing that initiatives are introduced to improve work-life balance – such as flexi-working. 

In fact, almost half of professionals in East Midlands stated that they would be open to switching to a contract, interim or temporary position – citing more flexibility (35%) as the leading reason.

Professionals in the East Midlands stated a competitive salary (63%), clear development & progression (54%), location – being close to home or a city (47%), flexible working hours (42%), and being valued (27%) as the most important factors when looking at a new job opportunity.

Habiba Khatoon, Director at Robert Walters said: “It’s a competitive environment for recruiting talent, with hiring managers having to contend with a UK-wide candidate shortage.  

“As such, it will be crucial now more than ever that companies work hard to improve their workplace environment and bulk-up the job offering in order to attract the best candidates – and central to this is tapping into what makes employees within the region tick.”

For more information download the whitepaper here

Millennials have been dubbed the most ‘impatient generation’ in the workplace, with over 90% wanting ‘rapid career progression.’ 

Almost 70% of employers believe that this level of ambition and desire is the leading cause of conflict between generations – with a third of Generation X (34%) and a quarter of Baby Boomers (24%) and Millennials (24%) agreeing with this. 

The findings come from a Robert Walters whitepaper, which surveyed over 2,000 respondents to find out what it takes to retain millennial professionals.

Chirs Hickey, UK CEO at Robert Walters comments: “According to our survey almost 60% of workers have experienced intergenerational conflict in the workplace. As Millennials make up a growing part of the workforce, finding a way for members of different generations to work together effectively is an increasingly high priority. 

“Making sure that managers understand what motivates workers from different generations, how they like to communicate, and identifying common sources of conflict is essential to creating a strong team of varied generations and diversity of opinions.”

Sources of inter-generational conflict in the workplace 

  1. Workplace Culture

According to the Robert Walters report, three quarters of professionals (73%) have left a job because of poor company culture. Over half of Millennials reported that poor company culture was a source of disappointment in a new job, with 90% claiming that they research the culture in advance of taking an opportunity. 

Whilst a third of Millennials felt that meeting their colleagues in a social setting was important, this contrasts with just 15% of Generation X and less than 1% of Boomers who value social outings with colleagues. 

  1. Technology

Millennials widely perceive technology to be at the root of workplace conflicts. 34% reported that older workers not understanding new technology was the chief cause of these conflicts, followed by younger workers becoming frustrated at using outdated technology (33%).

Millennial professionals are also distinct from their older colleagues in their attitudes towards  social media. Almost 40% of Millennials felt that employers should actively encourage workers to incorporate social media into their work, compared to less than a quarter (24%) of Generation X and just 10% of Baby Boomers.

  1. Tailored approach

Employers and employees from Generation X and Baby Boomers believe that Millennials are far more pampered than was ever the norm in the workplace – with their demands for time and a tailored approach way out of line with general expectations. 

Whilst only 15% of employers believe personalised training programs to be necessary, over a third of Millennials rank this as one of the most important factors in retention. In fact, 53% of millennials have been disappointed by the lack of a properly implemented personal development plan or training program when starting a new job. 

The demand of senior managements time is further exasperated by an overwhelming 91% of Millennials who would like to receive formal feedback at least every six months, with 60% stating that they would like this as often as every one to three months. 

  1. Experience 

Given that Millennials have the most formal education of any generation in history, being likely to hold at least a bachelors degree already, the chance to earn qualifications on the job is their lowest priority – unlike fellow colleagues from older generations. 

When asked what they believed employers value most in potential workers, 59% of Millennials gave personality fit with the team or company culture as a top priority. In contrast, 53% of employers felt that hard technical skills were highly important in potential employees.

  1. International Aspirations

Over half (52%) of Millennials said that the opportunity to develop their career abroad was important to them, compared to less than a third (31%) of Generation X and 15% of Boomers. 

Chris states: “One of the side effects of growing up in the digital age is that Millennials often see themselves as ‘citizens of the world’, having grown up in an environment where access to the internet means that geographical boundaries are far less important than they had been in the past. 

What do Millennials expect from their employer?

1. Salary 

A competitive salary was rated important by all generations, but particularly for ambitious Millennials where salary is largely seen as a reflection of their status and success. In fact, 96% of Millennials rated a competitive pay and bonus system as important, and 25% stated that this would be the number one reason they would change jobs.

Chris Hickey adds: “It’s important to note that during the downturn, over half (53%) of Millennials took a job with a lower salary than expected. As such, employers should be mindful that this may be a contributing factor as to why salary and remuneration are so important to Millennials. 

“It also means that as we move out of economic uncertainty they will expect their salaries to catch up to their expectations.”

  1. Progression

Millennials want more than just a job – they want a career, with 69% citing a clear path for progression in the business as the most important factor in keeping them engaged.

Chris add: “It is perhaps unsurprising that for Millennials at the outset of their careers, a clear path to progression is the most effective motivator. However, this reflects not just the youth but also the ambition of this generation. 

“Millennials have grown up being told they are capable of achieving anything and this confidence means that they crave responsibility early in their careers.”

In fact, 54% of Millennials state that having the opportunity to ‘exercise influence’ in the workplace is a key way to keep them engaged and remain with their current employer. 

  1. Transparency  

Millennials do not shy away from responsibility, and they want to know what needs to be done to earn it. Of all generations surveyed, Millennials placed the highest value on transparency over how they could achieve progress in their career. 

71% of Millennials strongly agreed that their employer should provide clear guidelines over earning bonuses or promotions. However, 40% of employers do not currently do this.  

  1. Fulfilment 

During the recession many Millennials struggled to find jobs that met their expectations. 31% reported that they had taken work in a sector that they did not wish to work in. Now, as the economic outlook improves, many are ready to change jobs to find a new role that better suits their ambitions.

Chris advises: “Employers looking to retain Millennial employees should consider giving them the option to move around the business to find a position that better suits their desired career path, particularly given that 70% of Millennials consider job rotation within the business one of the most important aspects of their job.”

 
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