Top 2022 Employee Complaints and How to Address Them

September 7, 2022
Top 2022 Employee Complaints and How to Address Them

The past few years have been rough for businesses and employees alike. The COVID-19 pandemic has upended many people’s lives, both in the workplace and at home. It’s safe to say that things may never be the same. Many businesses shut down for months at the height of the pandemic. Others transitioned to a fully remote work environment to accommodate health and safety protocols. Many workers had to fend for themselves. The result is an atmosphere where both companies and employees are struggling to find their footing. Employees have developed a slew of complaints about their current employment situations. This article will look at some of the top complaints from employees in 2022, and help companies find constructive solutions to address them.

The pandemic effect — why workers are complaining now

It’s a phenomenon called “The Great Resignation.” Companies that shut down, either completely or in part, during the pandemic were getting back to business as usual in 2021. And companies expected that their employees would make their way back to the office. Instead, what happened was that a record number of people quit their jobs last year. Out of the 68.9 million workers who left jobs last year, an astonishing 47.4 million of them quit voluntarily. So, what led to so many workers calling it quits just as things seemed to be getting back to normal? Analysts say it was a combination of several things. Many people had to stay home to care for family members or elderly parents. Schools transitioned to remote learning, leaving families scrambling to find or afford childcare. Employees went looking for higher pay and better benefits. With all these scenarios happening at once, what resulted is a workforce that had to get creative. A record number of small businesses opened up in 2020 and 2021. People who had spent their whole lives working for someone else decided the time was right to try entrepreneurship. Other workers who had been commuting to office buildings for years discovered the joys of working from home. And everyone discovered that the way things were is not necessarily the way things always have to be.

What are the top employee complaints of 2022?

This list outlines some of the top complaints from workers about their employment experiences. Many of these complaints stem directly from expanding ideas of what workers deem important as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Workers want more flexible work options

During the pandemic, many workers got a taste of what remote work is like. A great number of them say they never want to go back to the way things were. Employees are all but demanding that companies continue to offer flexible work options, such as remote or hybrid work. Remote work was a lifesaver for many organizations during the pandemic. It allowed companies to remain in operation despite the inability to gather employees in an office setting. And many companies have discovered the benefits of having a remote workforce, such as cost savings and easier hiring and training. Now, post-pandemic, many companies are showing an interest in getting back to normal.

A large percentage of today’s workers are looking for companies that offer flexibility in work styles.

But the bottom line is that a large percentage of today’s workers are looking for companies that offer flexibility in work styles. That means whenever possible, companies should look for ways to offer remote work or hybrid work options to employees.

Workers want a better work-life balance

Today’s employees desire a better work-life balance from their employers. Perhaps it's because the pandemic forced people to take stock of what’s truly important in their lives. The days when employees were willing to give every moment of their time to a company are long gone. Workers today want the ability to enjoy their families and friends. So, how do companies offer employees a better work-life balance? It can be as easy as ensuring that companies are fully staffed. Having a full staff ensures that employees don't feel pressure to work late or cover shifts. Companies need to value employees’ free time as much as the employees themselves do. Paid time off is a great way to encourage employees to get some much-needed rest and relaxation. Some companies are even experimenting with unlimited PTO.

Employees want better benefits

Benefits have always been a big draw for employees. Companies that offer comprehensive benefits packages seemed to have an extra bargaining chip to bring to the table when recruiting top talent. However, today’s employees do much more than appreciate benefit offerings — they require them. And workers have every right to hold companies accountable for providing these employee benefits. We’ve listed some of the most important benefit options below.

  • Health insurance
  • Flexible spending accounts (FSAs) or health savings accounts (HSAs)
  • Long-term and short-term disability
  • Paid vacation and sick leave
  • Holidays that are paid
  • Paid medical leave
  • Life insurance
  • Retirement packages
  • Childcare
  • Tuition reimbursements

Companies that hope to keep employees long-term must find ways to support those employees throughout their careers and into their retirement years. The best way for companies to do this is by offering employees a menu of benefit options tailored to individual needs.

Employees want better training and development opportunities

High on the list of employee complaints is a lack of training and development opportunities. Research shows that employees who feel as if their company invests in their long-term success will stay longer, have more job satisfaction, and be more productive overall. The disconnect is that not enough companies are spending the correct amount of time and resources on employee development programs. This practice seems counterproductive, since employees who receive these opportunities reward their organizations with so many benefits. Companies that develop strong, internal training and development opportunities will have a better chance of creating a strong and reliable workforce.

Employees today want a better working environment

The terms "company culture" and "working environment" are broad and hard to define. But today’s workers seem to have a clear idea of what these concepts mean to them, even if their organizations do not. One of the most common complaints from employees relates to a negative, or toxic, work environment. This is also 1 of the biggest reasons why workers voluntarily quit their jobs. How do companies focus on creating a positive culture? It really boils down to this: humanizing employees. There are numerous ways that companies can foster a positive culture. Some are easy and inexpensive, and others might require complex actions and substantial investments:

  • Focusing on employees’ well-being, both physical and mental
  • Providing perks like free lunches, gym memberships, or yoga classes
  • Arranging company outings and team building events
  • Focusing on values like transparency and fairness

Companies that seek to address employee concerns can succeed

Employees who lived and worked through the global health crisis have experienced an upheaval of sorts. And while things may have looked dire for quite some time, many companies are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Employees, however, have developed a fresh outlook on what a job can be. The new experiences of working from home have sparked opinions in the global workforce. Companies that don’t address these issues face the possibility of employees leaving their jobs for better opportunities. There will always be businesses and there will always be employees. That’s won’t change. But what has changed is how employees view their futures and their place in the workforce. Companies that seek to understand this and find ways to address employee concerns will be better able to face the future successfully.

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