Employees’ desire for workplace diversity and strong relationships
A recent report by Randstad reveals that more than half of employees in Singapore, 57% to be exact, consider it crucial to work for a company that values diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). The study also indicates that this sentiment is particularly strong among Gen Z teams.
The 2023 Employer Brand survey conducted by Randstad surveyed 2,753 participants across the country to gauge talent expectations. Among the Gen Z respondents, a significant 63% expressed the importance of their employers actively supporting equity, diversity, and inclusion. Similarly, 59% of Millennials and 55% of Gen X employees shared the same sentiment.
These findings come at a time when the Gen Z workforce is growing in numbers. Market research firm McCrindle previously estimated that by 2025, Gen Z employees would comprise 27% of the workforce. According to Jaya Dass, the Managing Director of Permanent Recruitment at Randstad Singapore, this emerging generation of employees seeks recognition and appreciation for their strengths and contributions. Dass remarked, “Today’s young workforce is driven by a powerful personal agenda – they want to feel a sense of belonging and work for an employer that aligns with their values. If they don’t feel included at the workplace, they will take the initiative to look elsewhere.”
Coinciding with Pride Month, the report highlights that 18% of respondents disagreed with the notion that their employers support the protection and inclusion of LGBTQIA+ employees. On the other hand, 42% agreed that their employers do support such inclusion efforts. However, the report suggests that employers can still enhance their support for LGBTQIA+ inclusion.
The survey also identified other DEI values that employees endorse, including employer support for mental health and well-being (66%), implementation of equal pay policies regarding gender and ethnicity (63%), alignment of employer values with personal values (62%), and employer initiatives to reduce environmental impact (51%).
To establish a deeper connection with their talent, employers are advised by Dass to prioritize DEI efforts as the core of their talent recruitment strategy. She suggests that “by actively listening to their workforce through internal engagement initiatives and regularly collecting feedback on employee sentiment, employers have the opportunity to create a holistic workplace culture that helps them attract and retain the talent they value.”
Additionally, the Randstad survey revealed that employees highly value positive relationships in the workplace. Their top five non-monetary benefits include fostering good relationships with colleagues (93%) and managers (94%), having a convenient location (93%), flexible work arrangements (93%), and enjoying more autonomy in their roles (92%). These preferences reflect employees’ desire to work in a harmonious environment where they are treated with respect and can establish meaningful connections, as per Dass.
Data from Deloitte also indicated that less than half of employees worldwide feel comfortable being open about their sexual orientation (43%) and gender identity (47%) in the workplace. Even fewer respondents feel comfortable sharing this information with their direct managers (37%), according to Deloitte’s findings.
Dass emphasized that employers have the responsibility to create a positive work environment based on trust, enabling employees to work collaboratively towards common goals. She further noted that work and personal lives are closely intertwined, and employers should extend care beyond the workplace, supporting employees in maintaining a positive work-life balance. The opportunity to work and grow alongside colleagues who celebrate achievements enables individuals to experience greater joy and purpose at work, according to Dass.