Employee satisfaction is the main HR challenge in 2016


After a few difficult years, the labour market is picking up and the number of jobs continues to increase.

According to a Walters People survey of 1000+ employees, employee satisfaction and retention of valuable staff are the top HR challenges for 2016.


Optimism about the labour market 

Survey respondents are clearly optimistic about the Belgian economy. 72% of managers and 65% of candidates believe that 2016 will be better. “Concerning the labour market, we seem to have reached a turning point” explains Özlem Simsek, director of Walters People Belgium. “The majority of managers (51%) and employees (54%) expect that the number of jobs will remain stable in 2016. In addition,  4 out of 10 managers and a third of employees believe that 2016 will bring more jobs. Our statistics from the first quarter prove they are right, and overall, we have noticed an increase in the number of vacancies amongst our clients.” 

HR invests in employee satisfaction

In this context, HR departments no longer need to focus on reorganisations. Only 12% of managers considered that as the main challenge for 2016. Their focus is moving towards improving the satisfaction and dedication of their employees. Özlem Simsek: “Nearly half of managers surveyed identify employee satisfaction as their biggest challenge for 2016. Besides this, a third of respondents are concerned about losing valuable people. And they should be: 6 out of 10 surveyed professionals would consider changing jobs to further develop their career. However, half of respondents would stay at their current employer if they continue to provide growth opportunities”.

Growth opportunities equally important as salary   

Providing clear career development plans and  opportunities for growth are the key to employee satisfaction. “37% of managers believe their staff are leaving due to a lack of growth opportunities. 29% try to prevent this by defining internal career possibilities”, explains Özlem Simsek.  80% of employees rank challenging job content as important or very important when looking for a new role, almost equalling the importance of the salary (82%).

More attention to work/life balance 

Although the majority of survey respondents think a good salary is important, it is not their main reason to quit their job, and most were quite satisfied with their pay. Therefore, managers have been investing in other extra’s to retain their employees. Özlem Simsek: “29% believe that employees will stay if the company demonstrates more work flexibility, for example: work from home or flexible hours to have a better work/life balance. 76% of employees feel this balance is important to very important when choosing a new job. The surveyed managers seem to know their employees and their concerns really well”. 

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