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Not perks, but respect. What young workers really want on the work floor

New research points to an important switch in values among young workers. The research shows what employees (between 21 and 34 years old) find important on the work floor. And no, this has nothing to do with weekly bootcamps, drinks at the bar or more holidays. It’s respectful communications that keep younger employees committed to their work.

The survey among 1000 US workers is especially relevant today with many companies moving into a more hybrid work style. The survey revealed that autonomous respect, the sense that one is responsible for making decisions, and respectful engagement, being present to others, affirming them, communicating and listening to them, both helped young workers to bounce back after adversity, to perform better in their jobs and be more committed to their organizations in the long term.

The author of the publication and professor at the Missouri School of Journalism, Margaret Duffy, states that although coming to work may not be joyful every day, if you feel respected as a human being, and most importantly, feel that you have earned the respect and recognition given by your boss and coworkers, work could help you feel fulfilled.

This shift in values on the work floor is consistent with the shift we’ve encountered at TrendsActive: there’s a growing body of research stating that our search for happiness doesn’t lead to a fulfilling life. People also experience it themselves, although we get offered many tools to experience happiness, many of us are still suffering from mental health issues like depression, anxiety and burn-outs. People are increasingly searching for meaning (long term fulfilment in life) instead of happiness (short moments of joy). This research contributes to our findings that people are increasingly looking for meaning, also on the work floor.

Image credits: Leon