I was quite excited to see Gallup’s new update of the State of the American Workplace.  You can get it for free, and it has incredibly valuable insights for any company or organization that has employees.

I thought I’d dig into one area today that’s been an ongoing topic for discussion.  Let’s look at what employees are saying about what kinds of benefits and perks would cause them to change jobs.


The blue bars indicate what’s important to employees, while the green bars indicate what’s offered by companies.  Disparities between the two potentially point to areas for creative adjustment.

I drew a red line through the middle, because that’s where the disparity shifts.  Above, employers are “under serving” the employees.  Below, employers are “over serving”.

That’s a crude assessment, of course, because each company and industry might be different than this overall average.  I’ve also observed one pitfall:  Part of the reason why employees might not rate paid vacation and paid leave as top of the list is because they can assume that their next employer would offer something similar.  Which they probably do, because the green bar is so high.

We might want to treat health insurance as a special case, because so much is changing in the industry right now.

I was surprised to see that retirement plans are so high on employees’ lists.  This may reflect how many of those plans have been dropped or severely cut back in recent years, and it might also indicate the aging workforce.

But I’m not surprised by flexible location.  Many employers are being far more restrictive in this than they really need to be, and employees are perceiving a big gap in what their companies offer.  If your work can allow for flexible time and flexible location, you should probably start thinking about this one.

I’d like to hear what this chart brings out in your thinking!