People want more than a pay check: They want meaning

There is a plethora of research that shows how the motivations of candidates have changed over the last few months. Four-in-ten workers across the world say they are thinking of quitting their jobs, with 46 per cent planning to make a major change or career transition.

The reason for this great disruption? The last two years have awakened a desire for meaning and purpose. Whilst salary is still an important factor, executives are increasingly looking to join companies that have a purpose and that stand for something when it comes to the environment and social impact.

Amid this global shift, what should employers do to understand executives’ evolving aspirations and motivations to take advantage of the current hiring trend, and attract and retain talent?


Initially, executives changed jobs because of the way they were treated by their companies during lockdown. Indeed, less than one in five employees considered their employers had supported their physical, mental, and financial well-being in a meaningful way during the pandemic.

But this trend has evolved well beyond pay and the handling of the pandemic. In the UK alone today, some 36 per cent of employees are unhappy in their job. Whilst 13 per cent say they would change jobs purely based on compensation, an overwhelming 87 per cent said they would consider switching jobs because they are dissatisfied or feel disengaged.

Understanding aspirations and motivations

As the world continues to build a culture of solidarity and purpose post-pandemic, so should employers. The top two reasons executives cited for leaving or consider leaving their company were that they didn’t feel valued by their employer (54 per cent), or that they “lacked a sense of belonging at work” (51 per cent).

From a millennials’ perspective, this goes even further. Deloitte found that two in three employees would leave their job if they don’t feel fulfilled, or if they believe their company only measures success in terms of profit at the detriment of the social/family life of their staff or the environment.

To understand aspirations and motivations of executives, managers should have meaningful conversations with their staff – what motivates you in your job and your personal life? How are you progressing within your personal and professional aspirations? How can we support you inside and outside of your role?

Valuing sustainability

The same Deloitte study found that 40 per cent of millennials are willing to sacrifice a chunk of their pay to join an environmentally-friendly company that provides social benefits. In other words, executives are looking for a firm that can demonstrate a strong commitment to sustainability and governance, provide initiatives to reduce their environmental footprint, donate a portion of their profit to a social or environment cause, and allow employees to work in a flexible manner to ensure a better work-life balance.

By adapting early to this trend, employers will easily attract and retain talented individuals in this employee’s market.

If you are looking to hire or build out new teams, we can help you navigate the months ahead – in an inspiring way. Contact one of our experts today.


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