Understanding Employee Desires

What People Want at Work

Introduction: In today’s rapidly evolving professional landscape, understanding what employees desire from their work environments is crucial for organizations to attract, develop and retain top talent. While individual preferences may vary, certain common themes emerge when examining what people generally want at work. This article explores key aspects that contribute to employee satisfaction, drawing insights from reliable and authoritative sources.

  • Competitive Compensation and Benefits: A cornerstone of employee satisfaction is fair and competitive compensation. According to a survey conducted by Glassdoor, a leading job and recruitment platform, 67% of job seekers rank salary as the most important factor when considering a new opportunity [1.]. Additionally, a comprehensive benefits package, including health insurance, retirement plans, and paid time off, contributes significantly to overall job satisfaction.
  • Opportunities for Growth and Development: Employees seek continuous growth and development opportunities to enhance their skills and advance in their careers. A Gallup study revealed that 87% of millennials value career growth and development opportunities as important when choosing a job [2.]. Providing access to training, mentorship programs, and clear paths for advancement not only helps organizations attract top talent but also boosts employee engagement and retention.
  • Work-Life Balance: Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is essential for employee well-being and productivity. Achieving this balance involves providing flexible working arrangements, such as remote work options or flexible hours. A study by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) found that flexible work arrangements were highly valued by 90% of employees [3.]. Organizations that prioritize work-life balance create an environment that supports employees’ personal lives, leading to increased job satisfaction and reduced burnout.
  • Supportive Work Culture: A positive and supportive work culture is crucial for employee engagement and satisfaction. Harvard Business Review highlights the importance of cultivating an environment where employees feel valued, respected, and have strong relationships with their colleagues and supervisors [4.]. Encouraging open communication, recognizing and rewarding achievements, and promoting diversity and inclusion foster a sense of belonging and contribute to a healthy work culture.
  • Autonomy and Empowerment: Employees desire a degree of autonomy and empowerment in their work. According to a study published in the Journal of Organizational Behavior, employees who experience a sense of autonomy are more likely to be motivated, engaged, and satisfied [5.]. Granting employees the freedom to make decisions, contribute ideas, and take ownership of their work can lead to increased job satisfaction and innovation.

Conclusion: To attract and retain top talent, organizations must understand what employees want at work. Competitive compensation, growth opportunities, work-life balance, a supportive work culture, and autonomy are key factors that contribute to employee satisfaction. By prioritizing these aspects and creating an environment that values and supports employees, organizations can foster engagement, productivity, and long-term success.


  1. Glassdoor, “What Job SeekersWant: Survey Reveals Factors That Influence Employment Decisions.” (2017). Retrieved from:
  2. Gallup, “How Millennials Want to Work and Live.” (2016). Retrieved from:
  3. Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), “2019 Employee Benefits.” (2019). Retrieved from:
  4. Harvard Business Review, “Creatingthe Best WorkplaceonEarth.” (2011). Retrieved from:
  5. Journal of Organizational Behavior, “The Paradox of Stretch Goals: Organizations in Pursuit of the Seemingly Impossible.” (2006). Retrieved from: