What do employees want most in 2023?

It’s not enough to attract top talent, you have to retain them too. Discover the top 10 things employees want in 2023.

It’s not enough to attract top talent, you have to work hard to retain them too.

High staff turnover is financially draining, but it also has wider knock-on effects. Company culture has suffered in almost two-thirds (63%) of UK businesses as a result of high turnover. 21% of these organisations also noted a decrease in employee engagement.

The best way to retain talent is to ensure you know what your employees want.

We’re not just talking about salary and benefits packages. What are people looking for in terms of culture, working style and flexibility?  

We’ve done some digging to find out...

Top 10 things employees want in 2023


Last year, more than half of the workforce was considering moving to a hybrid or full-time remote position. But flexibility isn’t limited to where you work, it also covers:

  • Flexible hours  
  • Office shutdowns (Christmas / summer hours)
  • 4-day work weeks  
  • Work from anywhere schemes  
  • Dog-friendly office spaces  

Think about what your current employees will value most, as well as what you can offer to make yourself stand out when hiring.  

📈 Career progression

This is a biggie. Employees who feel unfulfilled tend to leave jobs 12x faster. In fact, 45% of people surveyed by LinkedIn said they left their old jobs over concerns about a lack of advancement opportunity.

Offering training opportunities helps keep employees engaged and motivated. A simple way to ensure you’re offering this is to set a yearly learning and development budget. Your team can then select and book courses themselves, any time. We do this ourselves at Jobs For Good through Sunlight.  

💰 Fair salary

Obviously, salary is always going to be an important factor. This is especially true in 2023, in a competitive talent market and cost of living crisis.  

If you can’t offer over the market average, think about what else you can do. Take a look at your benefits package (more on that below) and see if there is anything you can add to sweeten the deal, like:  

  • Share options  
  • Bonus schemes  
  • Enhanced leave  

🙌 Benefits that work for them

Only 41% of UK workers feel satisfied with their benefits, so this an area where you can really stand out as an employer.

Some of the best benefits packages we’ve seen give employees the opportunity to choose which benefits work best for them. Platforms like Juno give employees access to over 10,000 options, like therapy sessions, meditation apps, recipe kits and lots more.  

Reports show that the most popular benefits include:  

  • Enhanced family leave (extended parental leave, miscarriage leave etc)  
  • Enhanced pension
  • Self-care days  
  • Online traning and coaching programs  
  • Private health insurance  
  • 4-day working weeks  
  • Early finish on Fridays  

🤝 Transparency and trust

Having the authority and trust to run with tasks and make decisions without several layers of approval processes is essential.  

Employees in high-trust organizations reported 50% higher productivity than their counterparts.

This has a massively positive effect on employee wellbeing too, as employees who trust their employers experience 74% less stress and 40% less burnout.

👏 Recognition and appreciation

As well as giving employees the authority and freedom outlined in the previous point, they also want to feel that their hard work is valued.  

This helps build a healthy workplace culture and boosts morale. This is key, as studies have found that employees showed a 56 percent increase in job performance when they felt a sense of belonging at work.  

⚖️ Work-life balance

With the working world becoming more flexible than ever before, people are more mindful of their work-life balance.

In fact, 68% of workers surveyed by FlexJobs claimed they’d change careers for better work-life balance over switching positions for better pay.

Make your workplace as supportive and flexible as you possibly can. Most importantly, lead by example! Take holiday yourself, talk about self-care and burnout, make time for your own wellbeing.  

💛 An inclusive culture

Almost half (46%) of Britain’s workforce think their employer could do more when it comes to diversity, according to a report from UK-based tech-for-good developer, Culture Shift.

To encourage people from all walks of life to apply to your open positions, use language that is inclusive of all genders, races and backgrounds.

Evaluate all your company comms, internal and external, to ensure this is consistent at every touchpoint. Even better, invest in some training or resources for your team.  

🔒 Stability and job security

Nearly half (44%) of employees are worried about job security as the prospect of a recession looms in the UK and across the globe.

Be transparent about company goals, successes and failures. Plus, be sure to address any concerns your team has directly.  

🌎 Purpose!

2 in 3 UK employees want to work for a company that is having a positive impact on the world. The same report shows that nearly half of employees say they would consider resigning if the company’s values don’t align with their own, even in these difficult economic times.

This doesn’t end with your company's mission – employees want to see this echoed throughout every aspect of the business, through CSR initiatives, volunteering and fundraising. They want to work with companies who have purpose at their core.  

Need some help building your dream team? Read our blog post on how to find mission-aligned talent.