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4 issues your employees probably care about

5 Nov 2020

Today’s employees want to see clear policies on pay equity, work-life balance and diversity. Here, Workhuman’s Niamh Graham explains how leaders can engage with staff on these topics.

Leaders should be mindful of their employees’ wellbeing whether they’re working in an office or not. But a recent survey by Workhuman suggests that many of today’s workers want their employers to do better.

The survey asked 1,000 people working remotely across Ireland, the UK and the US about their happiness levels. Workhuman used the findings to inform its new charter of workplace rights, which covers employee expectations around meaningful work, belonging, pay equity, privacy, safety, respect and more.

When participants were asked to rank issues based on their importance to employee wellbeing, being paid fairly came out on top. And yet, one-third of those who took part said they don’t believe they’re getting a fair wage.

Many were happy about the privacy and safety initiatives their employers had brought in, but others didn’t feel their bosses cared enough about global issues such as racial injustice and the climate crisis. Overall, 88pc said they want to work for a company with clear policies on workplace rights.

Worker rights should be based on human connection

We spoke to Workhuman’s vice-president of global HR, Niamh Graham, to learn more. She explained that it’s now more important than ever for organisations to listen to how their employees are feeling.

“It’s incredibly important that employee lives are being recognised and celebrated, gratitude and optimism is being shared and managers have ongoing check-ins with their people,” she said.

But how you go about this is just as important as choosing to do it in the first place. Workers are looking for “more than just fair pay and a place to be recognised”, Graham explained. “What is really surprising is how emphatic employees are now in knowing what they want in an employer.”

She added that many employers want to be forward thinking in this area but may not know where to start. “Organisations need to engage with their employees in a meaningful way,” she said. “This isn’t just about checking in or scheduling a review; it is about putting in place structures to recognise great work, to listen to concerns.”

The common denominator is human connection, which can help staff feel like they belong and, ultimately, help them be more productive. “Just because we may not be working in the same office or workplace doesn’t mean we should lose sight of human connections in work,” Graham said.

“Balancing it all while being at home takes deliberate focus and requires prioritisation techniques. Recognising that we are all human and have different commitments and situations is extremely important.

“We are lucky to live in an age where technology can help bring us all closer together, no matter where we are. Human-centred technology paired with a human-centred people strategy is the recipe for success and produces not only thriving companies, but also thriving cultures and human work experiences.”

A Workhuman infographic on the most important employee rights.

Click to enlarge. Infographic: Workhuman

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Lisa Ardill
By Lisa Ardill

Lisa Ardill joined Silicon Republic as senior careers reporter in July 2019. She has a BA in neuroscience and a master’s degree in science communication. She is also a semi-published poet and a big fan of doggos. Lisa briefly served as Careers Editor at Silicon Republic before leaving the company in June 2021.

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