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How Employee Expectations Are Changing the Workplace

Today’s employees have a whole new set of expectations for the workplace. Not only is there a demand for higher pay to keep up with the cost of living, but there is also a renewed demand for respect in the workplace. Companies who don’t meet these expectations find themselves continually short-staffed. Employers all across the country are asking the same thing: what can I do to keep my employees? For those employers who can’t afford to match raise demands, there is another solution. Show your employees you care by addressing their entire wellbeing. To attract and retain the best employees, employers must create a work environment that promotes respect, accommodation, and wellness.


Why Employees are Leaving 

Americans at every income level struggle to make ends meet and keep up with the high cost of living. The primary reason for a job is a paycheck, but for employees with no financial education, that paycheck doesn’t stretch very far. Without financial education, it doesn’t matter how big the paycheck is, it will still be a challenge to manage debt, increase savings, build credit, and grow wealth. And with 64% of employees living paycheck to paycheck, workers will constantly be on the move, seeking jobs with higher pay. Instead, employers can offer their employees the lifelong benefit of financial education so they can maximize the pay they receive. 

At the forefront, it may appear employees are solely leaving in search of higher pay. But there are additional underlying issues that have led millions of workers to leave their jobs. While it’s true that 63% of workers quit their jobs due to low pay, a nearly equivalent majority of 57% said they left because they felt disrespected at work. These figures from Pew Research show these reasons were not just influences on employees’ decision to quit, but the major causes of the decision. If a majority of workers who quit their jobs do so because of disrespect in the workplace, companies who remedy the problem will have an advantage in retaining their workers. Employers can use this valuable insight to create a plan to show they respect their employees and care for their wellbeing. 

What Employees Want

Today’s empowered workforce is changing the way companies treat their staff. Employees seek respect in the workplace and are ready to leave any job that doesn’t offer it. LinkedIn says, “More companies are offering flexible work arrangements, investing in employee well-being, and treating their workers with care and compassion. In short, they’re cultivating human-centered cultures where work is built around their employees’ lives and not the other way around.”

Employees now prioritize a good work-life balance and look for employers who can offer them that. LinkedIn says, “Good work-life balance is the highest priority for job hunters, outweighing even excellent compensation and benefits.” Today’s employees want flexibility in their work, support from their employer, and opportunities to learn. They want work that supports their personal life, especially as work-from-home situations continue to blur the lines between work life and personal life.

Instead of viewing The Great Resignation as a devastating time for businesses, employers can view it as an opportunity to improve their workplace and gain an advantage in the labor market. The Atlantic writes, “This level of quitting is really an expression of optimism that says, we can do better.”

What You Can Do

The most significant thing employers can do for employees today is invest in their wellbeing. Instead of measuring the hours they put in, measure the results they achieve. Accommodate a work-life balance by allowing flexibility in the workplace. Not every job needs to be full time or on-site or nine-to-five. 

Companies who invest in their employees’ wellness see an improvement in their overall company wellness. LinkedIn Global Talent Trends says, “Companies everywhere are discovering that their own wellbeing is inextricably linked to their employees’ well-being — mental, physical, emotional, and financial…The fact is we are in each other’s homes now and there’s no longer this separation between work and home life. You get the whole human and you need to think about how you work with, support, and engage the whole human.”

Employers can support the personal lives of their employees by offering wellness benefits that address non-work aspects of their lives, such as financial wellness. Though many workers leave their jobs in search of higher pay, the true underlying need is most often financial security. Employers can address this need by offering financial education as an employee benefit, which simultaneously supports their work life and personal life. Companies who do this see not only an increase in worker engagement, but employees who are happier at work and more motivated to stay long term.


The response to today’s employee expectations has been a drastic change in the workplace, and it will continue to change as the separation between work life and home life becomes narrower and narrower. The old expectation of an employer was one who provided a paycheck, a 401k, and a place to work. But the workplace looks very different now.  To be competitive in the workplace, companies must become more flexible, more accommodating, and above all, more invested in their employees’ overall wellbeing.

Find out how 101 Financial’s Workplace Wellness program helps employers address new workplace expectations by supporting employees’ personal lives.