Belgian employees expect more transparency of employer

PwC Global Workforce Hopes & Fears survey

Tuesday 24 May 2022 - Ahead of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2022 in Davos, this year’s Global Workforce Hopes & Fears Survey polled the views of 52,195 workers across 44 territories, including 1,095 in Belgium, to gauge their perceptions about their current job, employer, and potential career changes. Almost half of Belgian respondents with specialised or scarce skills plan to ask for a raise in the coming year. The survey showed that workers have a particular interest in their employer’s impact on the economy, climate and society. The survey also reveals hybrid work preferences, retention strategies and the value employees place on transparency and empowerment.


War for talent continues to soar

In Belgium, 57% of employees are (‘very’ or ‘moderately’) satisfied with their job. Yet, employees with specialised skills are in-demand. The data shows that those with in-demand skills are more likely to feel satisfied with their job (63% vs 56%), and feel listened to by their managers (41% vs 24%). These workers are also more likely than the overall group to ask for a raise or a promotion in the coming year (49%). 

Similarly, skills shortages are still very tangible. About 22% of Belgian respondents (vs 29% globally) say that their skills are in short supply in their home market. To win the war for talent, financial reward is necessary (70%), but insufficient. An opportunity to be one’s authentic self at work (71%) and fulfilling work (68%) are among the top three factors for employees considering a job change. The results call for a more holistic approach to retention strategies, combining reward with aspects that include culture and societal purpose. 

In societal goals, transparency is everything

Employees want companies to take a stand. In particular, they want transparency about their employer’s health and safety record (46%), economic impact (47%), diversity and inclusion performance (46%), and environment and climate impact (41%). 

Yet there seems to be a disconnect between the importance employees place on employer transparency and how confident they are that their employer is transparent on these points, particularly when it comes to protecting health and safety. The survey suggests that employers will have to put transparency as a key priority in order to restore the confidence of their employees and ultimately retain their most valuable asset. 

Hybrid work: meet employees in the middle

Amid the rise of more remote and hybrid working options, there is still a large group of workers who cannot work remotely at all. About 52% of the Belgian sample of surveyed employees can't work remotely - somewhat higher than the global average of 45%. This group is far less likely than others to say their team cares about their wellbeing (32%) and feel they are fairly rewarded financially (30%). Of those that can work remotely, 70% of surveyed Belgian respondents (vs 55% globally) are currently working in a hybrid way and we can expect this to increase. Of those working remotely full-time, there is greater concern about being overlooked for development opportunities.

Axel Smits, Chairman at PwC Belgium comments: “Amidst challenges of digitalisation and a rapidly changing global environment, we have an opportunity to rethink the future of work and to build back better. A people-centred approach is needed, providing support for people’s wellbeing and upskilling in order to respond effectively to challenging new ways of working. At the same time, our country has the potential to leverage its diversity of talent into a strength and become a leading hub for the world’s talent by 2030 that is able to contribute to a stronger, more inclusive and sustainable society.”


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