14 Factors That Make Organizations Attractive to Employees in 2023
In a professional landscape where employees are redefining their relationships with work and rethinking what they want from their employers, it’s essential that organizations align with their preferences in order to remain competitive in the employment market.
The modern workforce is in the midst of an evolution.
Today’s professionals are redefining their traditional relationships with work and, as a result, rethinking what they want from the organizations they work for.
Influenced by a diverse array of societal shifts and economic transformations, today’s professionals are seeking much more than just a paycheck from their employers.
And that means understanding and adapting to these changes is essential for organizations to remain competitive when it comes to attracting and retaining A-player talent.
In this article, we’ll explain 14 factors that help make companies truly attractive to employees in today’s professional landscape.
- The Backstory: Why Employee Preferences Are Shifting in 2023
- 14 Areas of Focus for Organizations Striving to Attract Top Talent in 2023
- 1. Competitive Salaries
- 2. Comprehensive Benefits Package
- 3. Flexible Work Arrangements
- 4. Professional Development Opportunities
- 5. Career Advancement
- 6. Corporate Social Responsibility
- 7. Strong Company Culture
- 8. Work-Life Balance
- 9. Recognition and Reward Systems
- 10. Purpose and Mission-Driven Work
- 11. Inclusive Workplace Environments
- 12. Transparency and Communication
- 13. Autonomy and Empowerment
- 14. Employee Well-Being Programs
The Backstory: Why Employee Preferences Are Shifting in 2023
In order to understand what exactly employees look for in an employer today, it’s important to first understand why their preferences have shifted.
The rise of remote work, advancements in technology, and the lingering impacts of the global pandemic have ushered in an era where flexibility, work-life balance, and meaningful work have become more important than ever.
Society’s increased focus on social consciousness also means that employees are now looking for organizations that align with their personal values and ethics.
So, unlike in past decades, today’s employees want to work for organizations that not only support their professional and personal growth but are also committed to making a positive impact on society and the environment.
14 Areas of Focus for Organizations Striving to Attract Top Talent in 2023
In the previous section, we painted in broad strokes about shifting employee preferences. But as a business leader, where should you focus your efforts when it comes to making your organization as appealing as possible to today’s employees?
Here are 14 ideas for where to start.
1. Competitive Salaries
Today’s employees want more than just competitive salaries—but that doesn’t mean this isn’t still critically important.
Organizations that offer high-paying roles attract top-tier employees who know their worth in the marketplace.
So, it’s important that your organization does too.
2. Comprehensive Benefits Package
In a traditional employee benefits package, you’d expect to see things like health insurance, retirement plans, and paid time off.
You can provide extra value to your employees by offering additional benefits that truly align with their lives.
During the pandemic, many parents grew accustomed to the convenience and cost-savings of being at home with their kids. Now, as people return to in-office work, you can ease this stress with incentives focused on childcare.
While most organizations can’t provide daycare in their workspace, you can support your staff with complimentary access to nearby daycare centers or by helping to subsidize their childcare costs.
During the pandemic, 25 million households in the United States added a dog to their family. For context, that’s nearly one in every five homes in America.
And now, these new pet owners are struggling with how to handle care for their dogs while working full-time jobs.
If you’ve got pet owners on your team, you can offer them things like:
- Providing stipends to cover the costs of professional pet care services can alleviate concerns about leaving pets alone and ensure they receive proper care and attention.
- Designating specific days or, if feasible, allowing pets in the office every day, creates a pet-friendly environment that allows employees to bring their pets to work, fostering a positive work-life balance.
- Considering offering pet insurance as a valuable benefit demonstrates the company’s commitment to the well-being of both employees and their pets.
While this won’t necessarily benefit everyone in your company, it’ll go a long way for many of them. It’ll also act as an attractive benefit for potential future hires.
You can consider offering your employees commuting benefits like:
- Enrolling your team in fuel discount programs or providing fuel gift cards
- Offering paid parking for your employees
- Offering public transit passes or unlimited public transit vouchers
- Setting up a company ridesharing account that people can use if they’re in a pinch or have to be at the office extra early or late
These are just a few options. The key is to understand exactly what resonates with your employees and aligns with your brand.
3. Flexible Work Arrangements
The pandemic gave employees a taste of professional freedom, allowing them to prioritize autonomy and balance more easily in their lives. For employers, mandated remote work demonstrated that employees could still deliver outstanding results, even when they weren’t in the office.
And, as a result, flexible work arrangements have become incredibly important for employees.
Here are a few ways you can incorporate it in your organization.
Flexibility in working hours allows employees to manage their work around personal commitments, rather than the traditional 9-to-5 schedule.
This may include options such as compressed workweeks, flextime (where employees can start and finish their workdays at varying times), or job sharing.
By accommodating various life demands like childcare, education, or hobbies, flexible schedules can enhance employee satisfaction and productivity.
Remote Work Options
The ability to work from anywhere has become increasingly important to employees.
This flexibility not only eliminates commute times but also allows them to create a comfortable work environment tailored to their personal needs.
For many, the ability to work remotely at least part of the time has become a non-negotiable aspect of job offers.
Hybrid Work Models
Hybrid models, where employees split their time between working remotely and working in the office, have emerged as a popular compromise between traditional and fully remote working setups.
These models can offer the best of both worlds: the collaboration and socialization benefits of in-office work, and the flexibility and autonomy of remote work.
4. Professional Development Opportunities
In a recent survey, 92% of employees indicated that having access to professional development is important or very important.
And in order to facilitate these opportunities, it’s important that employees have access to senior leaders within your business and that your organization has a strong employee development program in place.
To learn more about how to do this, check out our resource: Employee Development Explained: 5 Ways to Improve Your Processes and Create Stronger Teams.
5. Career Advancement
Unlike past generations, today’s younger professionals have no problem leaving their current jobs in search of advancement opportunities with other organizations.
In fact, a 2022 survey by McKinsey found that 40% of workers were considering leaving their jobs due to a lack of career advancement potential.
So, it stands to reason that creating—and communicating—clear pathways for career progression and the opportunity for upward mobility can attract ambitious, top-tier employees—and keep them at your organization.
6. Corporate Social Responsibility
Today, 49% of Americans believe it’s more important for companies to make the world a better place than it is to generate money for shareholders.
That’s why modern employees are attracted to companies that:
- Have robust CSR programs
- Demonstrate ethical business practices
- Show a commitment to making a positive social and environmental impact
This can include initiatives like:
- Community service opportunities
- Corporate philanthropy
- Fair trade practices
- Environmental sustainability efforts.
Your organization can incorporate this on a macro level, but individual departments and teams can also do it with micro initiatives, like charitable team building activities.
Here are a few you can try.
City, Park, or Beach Clean-Up
You can do some good in the world without it costing your company a dime—all it takes is some time and a little team spirit.
Consider heading out into your community—whether to a city, park, or beach—and doing a cleanup.
Pick up trash, collect recycling, and spend the day tidying up the local public amenities that everyone enjoys.
Want a way to give back while helping your team hone valuable business skills at the same time? Then you’ll love this.
With Charity Bike Buildathon, your workgroup will split into teams to build, decorate, and put together an advertising campaign for children’s bicycles.
After each group has presented their bike, you get to donate them all to a charity of your choice!
Philanthropy isn’t always about donating money or goods. Sometimes, it can just be about spreading some cheer and goodwill.
Random Acts of Kindness fuses the scavenger hunt concept with a philanthropic twist. This team building activity gets teams racing against one another to try and complete as many good deeds as possible before time runs out.
Host a Food or Toy Drive
As an organization, you’ve got a ton of connections—and so do your employees. If you’re up for a bigger project, hosting a food or toy drive can be a great way to make a difference for those in need.
It’s not a complicated process to put one together, it just requires a little bit of planning.
Here’s how to approach it:
- Choose a Charity: Decide on a food bank or charity you’d like to support, then contact them to inquire about what they need. It’s also wise to ask if there’s anything they can’t accept.
- Decide on Your Location: You can choose to host a one-day drive where everything brings their donations to a specific location, or you can set up multiple collection points and accept donations on certain days over an extended period of time.
- Promote your food drive: Make sure to get the word out there about your drive. You can do this using email and social media, printing flyers, and personal outreach.
- Collect and Deliver Donations: Once you’ve collected all of your donations, drop them off to the charity you’re supporting.
- Thank your donors: Make sure to follow up and thank everyone who contributed! It’s often nice to send an overview of the drive, including how many items were donated and who benefitted.
Having your team work together to host the drive is also a valuable exercise in event planning, so your charitable initiative also has a team building and business-benefitting aspect.
Class is in session with this philanthropic activity where your team will be tested by a variety of education-themed teamwork challenges, share a special bonding experience, and support local children in need by competing to fill backpacks with school supplies and donating them to charity.
At Outback Team Building and Training, we recognize the value of helping organizations make a difference, and that’s why every one of our team building activities can be amplified with a charitable care kit component.
For even more ideas for how your company can give back, check out our list of charitable team building activities for workgroups.
7. Strong Company Culture
A positive, inclusive, and supportive culture that aligns with an employee’s values can make an organization more attractive.
And there’s no one-size-fits-all formula for creating a great company culture.
But in order to provide you with some inspiration for how to improve the culture within your organization, we recommend you read through our resource where we asked six business leaders to share their definitions of company culture—along with real-world examples.
8. Work-Life Balance
In our always-connected digital age, maintaining a healthy work-life balance has become a crucial aspect of overall well-being.
Employees increasingly seek organizations that understand the importance of balancing personal life with work demands.
This might involve flexible working hours, remote or hybrid work options, generous vacation policies, and respect for personal time outside of work hours.
Companies that promote a healthy work-life balance are viewed as caring for their employees’ well-being, leading to higher job satisfaction and reduced burnout.
9. Recognition and Reward Systems
High-performing employees value recognition of their hard work and achievements.
This recognition can be in the form of public acknowledgment, performance bonuses, promotions, or even simple thank-you notes.
An effective reward system not only boosts employee morale but also encourages continued high performance and increases employee retention.
For more insights into how to put this into practice, read through our online guide focused on why employee recognition matters and how you can provide it.
10. Purpose and Mission-Driven Work
Employees are attracted to roles that offer them a sense of purpose and allow them to make a difference. Meaningful work can boost motivation, productivity, and job satisfaction. This is particularly true for top-tier employees, who are often driven by impact and purpose more than just salary.
Today’s employees are no longer satisfied with simply going to work and punching a clock. They want more than just a job—they want purpose.
Organizations whose mission aligns with their employees’ personal values and beliefs are more likely to attract and retain these individuals.
So, it’s essential to proactively communicate your organization’s mission, vision, and values and to demonstrate how the efforts of individual employees, teams, and departments help make them a reality.
11. Inclusive Workplace Environments
Research from Glassdoor has shown that 67% of job seekers consider workplace diversity an important factor when considering employment opportunities, and more than 50% of current employees want their workplace to do more to increase diversity.
But there’s an important distinction to make when it comes to diversity and inclusivity.
In some regards, the concept of diversity in the workplace pertains more to a quantifiable metric. On the other hand, inclusivity pertains to the way people feel when they work in your organization.
That’s why creating an inclusive workplace environment should be the key focus for your organization.
This means not only welcoming diversity but also actively working to ensure equal opportunities and inclusivity in your company’s practices, policies, and culture.
12. Transparency and Communication
Open and transparent communication from leadership about your company’s strategies, challenges, and successes is valued highly by top-tier employees.
It fosters a culture of trust, encourages employee participation, and gives employees a sense of ownership and belonging in the organization.
13. Autonomy and Empowerment
Now more than ever, employees value the freedom to make decisions and have control over their work.
Empowering your employees can enhance their job satisfaction, increase their sense of ownership, and drive innovation. It demonstrates trust in the employees’ abilities and can be a significant factor in attracting and retaining high-performing individuals.
14. Employee Well-Being Programs
People are becoming increasingly conscious of their well-being, and they expect their organizations to support it.
This can include their physical health and well-being, such as:
- Mental health support
- Fitness memberships
- Ergonomic workspace provisions
- Wellness education programs
But it can also extend to things like financial wellness and guidance.
Companies that invest in their employees’ well-being show that they care about their staff as individuals, which can lead to higher job satisfaction and loyalty.
In today’s rapidly evolving professional landscape, organizations must recognize that the expectations of modern employees have moved beyond just financial compensation and benefits.
This transformation of the modern workforce is not a fleeting trend but rather an ongoing evolution.
And, in order for your organization to remain competitive in attracting and retaining top talent, it’s essential to align your business accordingly.
What is your organization doing to remain attractive to employees in 2023? Let us know in the comments section below!
Learn about team building and group skills training sessions can help make your organization more attractive to existing and prospective employees.
If you’ve got questions about how team building and group skills training sessions can help ensure your company appeals to today’s employees, reach out to an Employee Engagement Consultant.