Importance attached to workplace climate by Belgian workers influences the employer branding strategy
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Importance attached to workplace climate by Belgian workers influences the employer branding strategy


New study by Stepstone and Boston Consulting Group shows, among other things, that “soft job elements” contribute to employee motivation, but also influence the changing employer branding strategy. How Belgian employees feel at work has become more important than ever. Therefore, companies must consider “soft job preferences” when making their employer branding strategy to remain successful. This is one of the findings from the Decoding Global Talent 2018 study by StepStone and The Boston Consulting Group.

What matters most in the job: Belgian vs global work preferences

According to more than 3,000 polled Belgian workers, employees primarily look for companies that emphasize good relationships with colleagues and a good work-life balance.

Work priorities according to the Belgian workforce vs the global workforce

Belgian workers consider “hard job preferences” such as a high salary, career development and financial stability of the employer less of a priority compared to the global workforce. We observed that this is influenced by the economic climate of the employees’ location. In emerging economies such as China, India, and Brazil, career development is the most significant consideration. Alternatively, countries such as Belgium, Italy and France prioritize the quality of life at work, as prosperity is self-evident and candidates are in the drivers’ seat.

Top 5 job preferences according to the selected countries

The survey also shows that people’s job preferences evolve throughout their careers. For instance, most peoples’ concerns about money increase in their thirties and peak in their forties and fifties as they might be raising a family and have more financial obligations.

Why companies should take job preferences into consideration

In a highly competitive recruitment market, it is increasingly important for organizations to become a dream workplace. Knowing that job preferences are crucial when choosing an employer, companies need to ensure a combination of the right job preferences to keep attracting the talent they need. “We notice a similarity in work preferences between jobseekers and employees. So, this strategic move doesn’t only concern companies that recruit, but should also be applied by every organization that wants to forge a retention strategy,” says Eva Ba, Customer Happiness Manager at StepStone.

Current employees need a reason to stay. People who enjoy their work are going to be more engaged and find more fulfillment in their job. Creating a dream workplace is the way to go for companies who want to win the war for talent.

How companies can redesign their culture to fit job preferences

A company’s mentality cannot change without revising its organizational context. This means adjusting the goals, resources, and constraints that shape how managers and employees work and interact. This could improve modern performance management systems, including;

– real-time feedback from colleagues
– shared targets that encourage collaboration
– new organizational models such as agile teams

These methodologies may be particularly valuable when applied broadly across companies. Implementing agility on this scale flattens organization structures and requires more collaborative relationships, including at the management-employee level. Moreover, it can contribute to the work atmosphere identified as important in the survey. “For companies that want to get the best workers and have a better employee retention rate, actions speak louder than words. Therefore, companies must rethink their culture and encourage the beheaviours that will make the difference for current and future talent,” says Rik Hülser, Managing Director at StepStone.  

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