Meeting the Rising Expectations of the Belief-Driven Employee

By Nicole Linger, head of employee experience & change – EMEA, Edelman.

We’re living in an employee first world. What attracted and retained talent before the pandemic requires a significant update from employers if it’s to meet the expectations of the belief-driven employee of today. What served an employer in the past won’t work now – but this in turn creates a unique opportunity for comms pros to totally rethink communications in the workplace AND how leadership sees employee engagement.

Our recently released Edelman Trust Barometer Special Report: The Belief-Driven Employee showed:

  • Six in ten employees are now choosing, leaving, avoiding or considering what jobs they take based on personal beliefs
  • And 20% have left their job or plan to do so in the next six months to find an employer who better meets their expectations

Employers need to understand these new expectations and take the time to refresh their employer value proposition and ensure it aligns with what current employees and potential recruits want in a working world that has changed.

Today’s employees want a better fit with their values – in fact, better compensation or career advancement is the least likely reason for leaving, in a world where personal empowerment, a socially engaged organisation and a more inclusive culture are key to retention.

What can employers do to be an attractive destination for talent? As employees demand personal empowerment and to see commitments around social issues – aligning actions with public intentions is a must. Taking a stand in human rights, healthcare access, economic inequality, gender inequality and climate change means employees are between 8x and 9.5x more likely to work for that organisation.

And there are risks of getting it wrong. Gaps between expectations and delivery on commitments lay organisations open to activism. The belief driven employee, while displaying more loyalty and willingness to advocate, is also more likely to engage in workplace activism and go public with their discontent.

So, in short, this is no time for belief-washing. Employees have taken stock after experiencing a pandemic, workplace stress and uncertainty. They’re now our most important—and influential—stakeholder – and are voting with their feet.

As 2022 plans come together, now is the time for comms pros to lead the charge – using their networking and influencing skills to get leadership to truly reflect on what their organisations stand (up) for. This is a time for communicators to be at the top table – empowering CEOs and their leaders to reflect, reassess, listen and walk the talk – with compelling actions and narratives which put their people front and centre.

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