U.S. Employees Prioritize Stability Amid Economic Uncertainty

U.S. employees are prioritizing job stability and comprehensive benefits over the allure of job-hopping, according to a recent report by WTW
By: | June 4, 2024

Amid a tumultuous economic and geopolitical landscape, U.S. employees are increasingly seeking stability from their employers, according to the 2024 Global Benefits Attitudes Survey by WTW.

The survey found a significant shift in employee preferences, with 72% now choosing to stay in their current jobs, reversing the trend of high turnover seen in recent years. Only 11% of employees were open to entertaining job offers, down from 25% in 2022.

What is driving this desire for stability? Pay tops the list, with 48% of employees citing it as a key reason to stay put. Job security follows closely behind at 41%, then health benefits at 36%. Flexible work arrangements, at 31%, round out the top factors influencing employees’ decisions to remain with their current companies.

“As employees search for a greater sense of stability, employers are ramping up their core benefits,” noted Steve Nyce, senior economist and global leader for the Research and Innovation Center at WTW. By focusing on these key areas of compensation, security, health, and flexibility, employers are successfully retaining talent and building trust with their workforce.

The Role of Benefits in Attraction and Retention

Benefits play a crucial role in both attracting and retaining employees. The survey found that 49% of employees chose their current employers due to their benefit packages, and 54% stayed with their employers for the same reason. This highlights how a strong benefits offering can be a powerful tool for companies looking to recruit and keep top talent.

The importance of benefits is further underscored by the finding that 40% of employees would leave their current employers for better benefits elsewhere, even without any change in salary, per the survey. This suggests that for many workers, the quality of benefits may be just as important as compensation when it comes to job satisfaction and loyalty.

Employers who offer expanded choice in benefits may have an advantage in building trust and goodwill with their workforce. The survey found that 66% of employees now have more choice in their benefits, allowing them to alter core offerings or use a flexible benefits fund. When employees have the most choice, 76% report that their benefits meet their needs, and 78% would recommend their employer as a good place to work, according to the survey.

“The war for talent is no longer just about pay; benefits matter, and the ability to choose those benefits is important for adapting to employees’ changing needs,” said Cecile Chang, global growth leader, Health & Benefits, WTW. As companies look to position themselves as employers of choice, a comprehensive and flexible benefits package can be a key differentiator.

Key Takeaways for Employers

The survey results highlight several key takeaways for employers looking to build trust, drive retention, and provide job security for their employees in the current environment. First, investing in core benefit programs is critical. The past few years have underscored the need for employers to prioritize their core benefits, and the survey shows this investment has paid off, with benefits being a top reason employees are choosing to stay with their current companies.

Secondly, offering expanded choice in benefits allows employers to meet the changing needs of their workforce. Two-thirds of employees now have more choice in their benefits packages, either to alter core benefits or access other perks through a flexible fund, according to WTW. When employees have the most choice, 76% say their benefits meet their needs. Expanded choice helps create a more inclusive and tailored benefits experience.

Finally, employers should focus on supporting their employees’ overall wellbeing and sense of security. “Employers should invest in their employees’ long-term wellbeing and offer a sense of security through the benefit package,” said Cecile Chang, global growth leader, Health & Benefits, WTW. “While they can’t control the world outside of work, they can support their employees through an inclusive and tailored benefits process.” By prioritizing these areas, employers can foster an environment of trust that ultimately drives retention in today’s evolving landscape.

To access the full report, visit the WTW website. &

The R&I Editorial Team can be reached at [email protected].

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