Do men and women value the same benefits and incentives at work?

We’ve talked at length about the differences between employees from different generations and parts of the world—but we haven’t yet revealed many of the differences between men and women in the workplace.

Our surveys show that men and women are aligned on many workplace issues, including leadership and learning. However, they do have slightly different priorities when it comes to job satisfaction and benefits.

Men and women at work November 24

A few of the key differences our surveys revealed:

  • Men tend to care more about company reputation. 32% of male respondents said a stronger company reputation/brand would increase loyalty and engagement at their current job (vs. 23% of women).
  • Women are more likely to prioritize education. Education benefits ranked as more important for women (44%) than men (40%).
  • Women are more interested in non-traditional benefits and incentives. Workplace amenities like fitness centers, daycares, and recreational facilities also ranked more important for women (41%) than men (36%).
  • Men rate the importance of quality of life slightly higher than women—but it’s important to both, with 47% of women agreeing compared to 51% of men. Women rate using more current technology higher than men do, with 53% of women agreeing compared to 47% of men.

While it is important for companies to address the varying wants and needs of diverse groups, it is also important to recognize commonalities. Men and women, for example, are equally likely to say competitive compensation and flexible work locations are important. Companies will need to understand these differences and similarities as they work to set policies that attract the best workers from all demographic groups.

Our Millennial Misunderstanding webinar is now available on-demand

You can now listen to last week’s webinar on The Millennial Misunderstanding, featuring data presentation from Oxford Economics’ technology practice lead Ed Cone as well as real-world insights from Deloitte’s Deborah Cole and SAP’s David Swanson. During the presentation, panelists discussed some of the common misconceptions about Millennials in the workplace and what companies can do to better meet the needs of their younger workers.

Want to participate in one of our live webinars and have a chance to ask questions in real time? Be sure to register for our next one on What Matters Most at Work. We’ll be talking about the benefits and incentives that are most important to employees–and what most companies actually offer.

Do high performers have different wants and needs?

With our survey data, we broke out data for high performers—employees who were ranked highly in their last performance review—from average and low performers. Karie Willyerd, the co-author of The 2020 Workplace:How Innovative Companies Attract, Develop, and Keep Tomorrow’s Employees Today and a valuable partner in this research project, recently published an article on what these high performers want at work.

How prepared are companies to meet the needs of their best workers? How satisfied are these employees today? According to Karie:

As you would expect, high performers as compared to low performers are more satisfied with their jobs and less likely to leave their jobs in the next six months. But in looking deeply into high performers specifically, you’ll see that the numbers aren’t as comforting as we’d hoped…one in five high performers are likely to leave in the next six months (versus one in four of employees overall who are likely to leave in the near term), and less than half are satisfied with their jobs.

You can read the full article at HBR—read it and join the discussion here.

Join today’s Millennial Misunderstanding webinar

Don’t forget: You can join us for a discussion on the Millennial misunderstanding–one the major themes of our research program–today at 10 am PT/1 pm ET.

During the webinar, Ed Cone will present the findings of our research and ask for insights from Deloitte’s Deborah Cole and SAP’s David Swanson. Do Millennials need to be managed differently than other workers? Do Millennials actually care less about competitive compensation? Are Millennials getting the training they need at work?

Interested? Register here.

The Millennial career path

People are afraid that their jobs are going to leave them behind. Obsolescence is a serious concern for employees everywhere—even for Millennials just starting out in their careers. 40% of Millennials say this is a top job concern, and fewer than half say the skills they have today will be what’s needed in their jobs in three years.

Millennials are no more likely than non-Millennials to say they will have advanced skills in key technical areas like cloud, analytics, and programming and development—but they are looking to improve their performance through feedback and other development opportunities. In fact, Millennials expect feedback 50% more often than other workers, and many say development-related benefits would increase their loyalty.

Millennial development

Skills development for Millennials is a key part of planning for the workforce of tomorrow, closely tied to leadership and succession planning. For more on the wants and need of Millennials—and how companies are preparing to meet them—register for Wednesday’s webinar on the Millennial Misunderstanding.

The learning imperative

Companies are having a hard time finding skilled employees. In fact, nearly half of the firms we surveyed have trouble recruiting employees with even base-level skills. These challenges in the talent marketplace suggest that companies should focus more on identifying and developing talent from within—yet most of them are not doing so.

Fewer than one-quarter of executives say their companies widely offer education as a benefit to keep employees loyal and engaged, and less than half say their companies have a culture of continuous learning. What’s more, employees may not be motivated to develop skills on their own time, as most companies are not sending the message that there is room for advancement: only 31% of executives say when a person with key skills leaves, they fill the role from within the company.

As globalization makes the task of managing a workforce increasingly complex, businesses need to create broad, sustainable learning cultures. This may start with incentives for pursuing education, continuous training opportunities, or stronger mentoring programs (but beware tedious, impersonal, and mandatory development programs). Providing employees with a clear career path and allowing them to develop key skills will increase loyalty among employees and build a stronger workforce that can take the company forward.