Employees satisfied with work but remain concerned about financial security

Mercer report shows why employees are satisfied with pay, benefits, and work flexibility

Employees satisfied with work but remain concerned about financial security

More employees are satisfied with work but remain concerned about financial security, indicating investments in employee benefits have returned positive results, says data from Mercer.

Mercer’s ‘2023-2024 Inside Employees’ Minds’ study looked into the perspective of employees on their workplace situations, and this year employees report satisfaction in their pay, benefits, and work flexibility and they exhibit more positive attitudes about work. On the other hand, employees remain highly concerned about their finances, as many employees continue to struggle to make ends meet, have increased debt, and face rising healthcare costs.

Lauren Mason, senior principal in Mercer’s Career Business, says this year’s data indicates a new way of working and living.

Satisfaction through addressing employee concerns

Data shows an increase in the number of employees who are planning to stay with their current employer is up four percent compared to last year. However, the result remains below 2021’s levels of 72 percent. Top reasons for staying or for being attracted to an organization remain pay and benefits. Further, pay transparency is also important to workers, with the data revealing employees who believe they are paid fairly being 85 percent more engaged and 62 percent more committed to their organization.

Personal debt came as the number two concern of lower-income employees (defined in the report as those making less than $60,000 per year). About half of employees across all pay levels report reducing their discretionary spending and more than one-third report tapping into their savings due to increased cost of living.

Long-term financial security, particularly in retirement, remains to be employees’ number two concern overall for two years in a row. As a result, employer retirement plans are one of the top three reasons employees remain in an organization, following pay and healthcare benefits.

Employees want flexible and balanced work

‘Workload and life balance’ also ranked high as a leading concern for employees. Employees say more flexible and more balanced work would help support their mental health and ease burnout. The top three benefits employees perceive to help them the most are more time off, reduced workload, and more resources.

About 38 percent of employees still prefer a fully remote work setup, lower than last year at 42 percent. Employees with a hybrid work setup were found to be the most engaged and satisfied across a number of dimensions, particularly those who worked on-site four days a week.

“Employees today have shifting needs and expectations about work – and employers who acknowledge those needs and address critical gaps to support employees’ lives – both in and outside of work – will become an employer of choice for the long-term,” says Mason.

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