Managers and business owners are constantly asking themselves what people are looking for when it comes to jobs. How can they keep good workers happy? How can they find them to begin with?
In the recently released results of the 2022 Voice of the Blue-Collar Worker survey, where 19,500 employees were surveyed, workers ranked what was most important to them in a job. The most important factor overall came up as pay rate, but the rest of the factors varied slightly when it came to the responses from men and women.
When gathering answers from men and women together, the first priority was pay rate, the second was job security, the third was the shift/schedule, and the fourth was enjoying the work.
When women's answers were isolated, the most important was pay rate, the second was shift/schedule, the third was job security, and the fourth was enjoying the work. When men's answers were isolated, the first came in as pay rate, the second as job security, the third enjoying the work, and the fourth was shift/schedule.
Though the answers only seem slightly different, there's a lot to consider here. Why is it that women are more concerned with their schedule, followed by job security, before the enjoyment of the work? And why is it that for men, their shift or schedule are last when it comes to their concerns?
The pandemic, which has impacted the work life of everyone, has had the most effect on women. According to research by McKinsey, many women had to take a step back from work, leaving the workforce or downshifting their career to make room for new responsibilities and problems. Women in heterosexual, dual-job couples were more often the ones who had to take on a higher load of household responsibilities. When it fell on women to take on these responsibilities, many times including childcare, they had to weigh the options with work.
It makes sense that women have a high priority level when it comes to scheduling, as evidenced by this information, because they often are the ones who need to work around kids' schedules, pick ups and drop offs, and more. And for men, job security might be most important because in "traditional" families and those families where mothers had to take a step back from work, they often relied on the men to support them financially. Being able to hold the job was more important than when they were doing it.
This mindset, much like the COVID-19 pandemic, hasn't gone away for many people, especially those in blue collar jobs. And while this is certainly a generalization, the data supports the answers.
When it comes to the distribution of work or schedules, men and women seem to agree per the Voice of the Blue-Collar Worker survey. The most appealing is five 8-hour shifts, followed by four 10-hour shifts, then three-four 12-hour shifts, with flex and gig schedules coming in last.
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