Study: Sense of Purpose Matters Most to Employees

These are boom times for the nation’s middle-market companies (organizations with between $10 million and $1 billion in annual revenue): The latest Middle Market Indicator report finds that 72 percent report year-over-year growth compared to last year, two thirds anticipate revenue increases during the next 12 months, and 46 percent plan to add more workers. That last part is proving to be a bit of a headache for these companies, however, with more than half the companies (54 percent) reporting that finding and retaining workers with the right skills and developing their current workforce will potentially present problems for their businesses in the years ahead.

Flexibility is also a key concern for employees today, and executives seem to get it: 79 percent of executives say flexible work arrangements are a core part of their organization’s value proposition, the study finds. Nevertheless, only 3 percent of the HR respondents consider themselves industry leaders when it comes to enabling flexibility, while 41 percent of employees fear that choosing flexible work arrangements will negatively impact their chances of promotion.

“The lack of flexible work arrangements hurts women and older workers disproportionately, leading to absenteeism, lower energy levels and burnout,” says Bonic. “As the skills gap widens and human competencies become more important, making sure that a diverse pool of talent can participate in the workforce at all life stages is both a business and a societal imperative.”

Andrew R. McIlvaine
Andrew R. McIlvaine is former senior editor with Human Resource Executive®.