Some people have called 2016 the worst year ever. But despite 2016 being a turbulent year, both politically and economically, many European employees have high hopes for 2017.
A recent survey by Ricoh Europe found that while 91% of employees expect digital disruption, economic uncertainty and political turbulence to change how they work in the near-future, 95% also believe this period of change will benefit their business.
However, this doesn’t mean that everyone can rest on their laurels because with the levels of uncertainty in the coming months and even years as employees will be seeking stability in their roles.
David Mills, CEO of Ricoh Europe, said:
As the world feels the impact of unprecedented change, business leaders must ask themselves where they see the most beneficial return on bringing more innovative technology into the company. To enable their business to stay focused on its long-term goals, and remain competitive, often the best place to start is with their employees.
So what are the three biggest draws for employees in Europe?
1. Job security
Unless individuals prefer the flexibility of sub-contracting or working on a freelance basis, most people seek full-time permanent jobs because of the job security it offers as well as benefits like sick pay, holiday pay, pension and other perks the company may be offering. Jon Gregory is a job hunt coach at Win-That-Job.com. He says:
Whilst true job security is never certain, candidates thus prefer to find jobs within an employer possessing a good track record of both growth and employee retention. The latter is rooted in the organisation’s culture, and candidates are less enthusiastic about joining companies with a hire-and-fire reputation, even if they are growing.
From the employer’s point of view therefore, it’s clear that their employer-brand has a ‘value’, whether they consciously manage it or not. If that value is high, they’ll attract better candidates who will stay longer. That has direct impact on employee commitment, the organisation’s costs and its own longer-term development trajectory. For clear evidence, look at Germany’s Mittelstand – the hugely strong privately owned SME companies who contribute so strongly to the German economy. They consciously try to protect jobs when recessions happen, in order to preserve the knowledge and experience built up from their investment within employees. That contrasts with UK, and especially American, organisations who downsize at the first sign of trouble. As a consequence, Germany’s companies retain more human and financial strength and bounce back much faster. Employees will often take more pain in order to protect longer term security, and the benefits for both sides are clear to see.
2. Solid financial backing
This is an obvious one. If a company has got lots of investors or a huge amount of financial backing then they are more than likely to come through the end of any turbulence. This gives the employee confidence and peace of mind that they are less likely to be offered a short-term contract or be made redundant. Obviously there are no guarantees that a company won’t fold but knowing a company is well-supported financially makes them an attractive prospect to jobseekers.
Hung Lee, CEO at Workshape.io:
People become more discerning when they realise they are in high demand. In the tech community, where businesses can grow and decline at a dizzying pace, the financial footing of that business can become an important factor to consider. Of course everyone wants to work for successful companies on an upward trajectory. There’s a big difference between working on successful products that are moving well compared to dead or dying products that have declining user interest.
3. Opportunity to work for a larger enterprise
Large businesses have certain inherent advantages over smaller companies. They are usually more established and have greater amounts of funds and resources and have greater numbers of employees or human resources. This means they can pool their resources to accomplish more work and, in turn, have greater amounts of talent within these separate departments. This means there is more opportunity to get extra skills and training, move within departments and get promoted.
While no-one can really predict the future (if they could, I would have won the lottery by now) it is pretty obvious that with the ongoing Brexit negotiations there is likely to be more unrest and turmoil to come.