In my day-to-day role of liaising with both candidates and employers, I frequently hear from candidates about their job preferences.

The message is clear: there’s a growing demand to move away from rigid hierarchies and one-size-fits-all approaches, as employees and entrepreneurs seek a more dynamic and flexible business culture. Here are the top 10 factors I’m hearing matter most to people in their work life:

  1. Inclusivity: People seek organisations that embrace diversity, where each individual feels heard, respected, and valued.
  2. Journey-Oriented: Employees need a sense of purpose, personal growth, and alignment with the company’s vision and mission. They want opportunities for development and career progression.
  3. Hybrid – WFH: Work-life balance now means genuine flexibility, with employees searching for businesses that offer remote work options and flexible schedules to respect their personal time.
  4. Friendly Atmosphere: This fosters productivity and job satisfaction by creating a sense of belonging among colleagues and management.
  5. No-micromanaging: Empowering people to work independently and trust their abilities is highly appealing. Micromanagement can hinder creativity, productivity, and level of engagement.
  6. Flat Hierarchy: Organisations that have a flattened hierarchy are becoming increasingly attractive to work for. This makeup helps foster a culture of collaboration and innovation by reducing rigid structures and distributing decision-making.
  7. Flexibility: Beyond work hours, true flexibility includes accommodating life events and unforeseen challenges, adapting to employees’ changing needs and circumstances.
  8. Fun and Enjoyable: A touch of playfulness in the workplace contributes to a positive, engaging atmosphere and helps to build friendships in the workplace.
  9. Structured Yet Autonomous: People appreciate well-structured environments that provide clarity and direction, while allowing autonomy to take ownership of their roles and decisions.
  10. Home Away From Home: Ultimately, people want to work in an environment that provides comfort, support, and a sense of value to employees – a feeling of a ‘second home’.

These factors encapsulate the essence of what people seek in a business culture, with the understanding that these desires may vary slightly from person to person.

For candidates, if your current environment doesn’t align with these values, initiating conversations with your employer or a trusted advisor can offer fresh perspectives and pathways to explore. For employers, it’s crucial to bear in mind what’s essential for attracting and retaining top talent. Ultimately, this is the collective aspiration most people share for the present and future of their organisation’s culture.