Organizational Wellness

How HR Leaders Can Exceed Employee Expectations

Feb 1, 2024
Last Updated Feb 1, 2024

The world of work is changing, and employees are shifting with it. It's up to HR leaders to meet and exceed these expectations! Doing so can improve engagement, productivity, and retention in the workplace. 

Let's explore what standards and benefits employees want so you can create a more productive and positive work environment. It's up to HR leaders to meet and exceed these expectations! Doing so can improve engagement, productivity, and retention in the workplace. 

Let's explore what standards and benefits employees want so you can create a more productive and positive work environment. 

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How Employee Expectations Have Changed Over Years

Benefits packages and company policies have transformed in a few short years, with employees expecting more from their employers than ever before. Here are some of the things workers today crave when looking for a new job:

Compensation and Benefits

Offering potential employees a competitive salary can attract more top talent to your company — and keep them around. Employees who think they're being paid unfairly are 15% less likely to stay with an organization, according to Gartner research. By paying a fair wage, you can build goodwill and prove your workplace values its employees, which may improve retention.

A generous benefits package can be just as important as a good salary. While health benefits remain the most important concern of employees, companies that go beyond standard health insurance may find it easier to fill vacancies. Vision and dental are crucial, according to an SHRM report, but more than that, consider mental health benefits, wellness apps, or gym memberships. Health benefits can be more valuable to employees when they provide a "whole person" experience.

Flexible Work Environments

Nearly 60% of employees in the U.S. believe that a flexible work schedule is an important benefit, according to Workable.  

Strategies for flexible work arrangements include offering employees remote or hybrid work options or personalized work hours. Paid time off can also be beneficial for employees who want to take a vacation, manage an illness, or spend time with family.

Ninety percent of employees in their preferred work environments are satisfied with their current employers. They also report lower stress levels, successful workplace relationships, and better sleeping habits, as revealed in Wellhub’ State of Work-Life Wellness 2024 report

Meaningful Work and Career Development

Employees increasingly look for value and purpose in their work and often choose positions that align with their authentic selves, Gartner reports. To meet and exceed their expectations, more companies are investing in professional growth opportunities such as career development, skill training, and mentorship programs. These initiatives may make a job more meaningful and even increase engagement in the workplace: Nearly nine in 10 workers say professional development programs in their field help them stay engaged at work. 

Recognition and Appreciation

Employee recognition programs are also highly sought after by workers. Ninety-two percent of workers feel valued in organizations with these initiatives, a 2023 Nectar survey reports. That's compared to only 70% of workers in organizations without them. 

Recognizing employees can involve rewarding performance, celebrating achievements, and providing timely feedback. 

Aligning Expectations with Organizational Operations

Clarity about operations in your organization keeps everyone on the same page, helping you manage employee expectations.  

Open Communication and Transparency

When discrepancies appear between a worker’s expectations and what you can provide, it’s important to have a transparent conversation. Honesty is always the best policy, and an open conversation about the company’s resources and the employee’s needs can often produce a solution that works for everyone.  

Regular Feedback and Surveys

Employee surveys, focus groups, and other types of feedback let you gather valuable information about employee expectations. That helps you understand what workers really want from your company! You might also want to invest in analytical tools that identify feedback trends and opportunities for improvement.

Addressing Unmet Expectations

Employees might feel like their company isn't meeting their requirements, which can lead to mistrust or poor performance. It's up to HR leaders to try to solve these challenges!

Identifying Root Causes

Discovering why workers feel you aren’t meeting their expectations can lead to more successful HR outcomes. Try to identify the heart of the issue and avoid being distracted by extraneous details. Sometimes, the answer really is as simple as "miscommunication."

Implementing Corrective Actions

Once you've identified the root issue, develop a plan to correct or address it. Once the plan is in motion, communicate that clearly to your employees. Providing a clear timeline for implementation, along with what steps will be taken, may improve employee morale and reduce friction. 

Continuously Monitoring and Improving

Meeting employee expectations isn't a one-time action. It's a continuous process that involves listening to what workers require in their jobs. Monitoring expectations through surveys and other feedback methods lets you track improvements in the workplace. 

Craft an Employee Experience that Exceeds Expectations

From competitive benefits to flexible work arrangements and meaningful career opportunities, it takes a lot to meet employee expectations. And one aspect of the employee experience is absolutely non-negotiable: Employee wellbeing. A full 93% of workers say their wellbeing is as important as their salary.

This is a win-win. A well-cared-for workforce is not only happier — they’re more productive and engaged

Wellhub can help you exceed your employee’s wellbeing expectations. Our robust wellbeing platform offers everything from gym memberships to nutrition tracking, personal trainers to sleep trackers, and meditation apps to budget trackers. 

Let’s get started. Speak to a Wellhub wellbeing specialist today!

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Wellhub Editorial Team

The Wellhub Editorial Team empowers HR leaders to support worker wellbeing. Our original research, trend analyses, and helpful how-tos provide the tools they need to improve workforce wellness in today's fast-shifting professional landscape.


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