Omniemployment: how employers need to ditch a one-size-fits-all approach

A new report from Henley Business School emphasises the need for employers to beware of adopting a one-size-fits-all approach to the workforce.


The workforce is increasingly mobile and employers need to ensure they don’t have a traditional ‘one-size-fits-all’ view of work in order to attract and retain them, according to a new report on what is known as ‘ominemployment’.

The white paper by Henley Business School’s World of Work Institute is based on a survey of 3,000 employees which found that 30% of the workforce are looking for a new job at any given time and 46% of people who moved jobs in the last year are looking for a new job.

While 72% agreed that they want a career that fits around other interests, hobbies and family life and only 19% saying they are willing to work longer hours to progress and while a competitive salary and a stable job that people enjoy still matter, the things that attract different types of workers vary greatly according to six main types of worker identified by the report:

Socially Conscious Workers – who the report estimates make up 15% of the workforce. They value a company’s record and stance on social issues and diversity in the workplace and are mainly male and in relatively junior roles.

Employee Advocates – 10% of the workforce. They expect companies to display high social standards and good business practices that treat their workers well. These workers, mostly women, highly value employee benefits and best practice.

Work-Life Balance Advocates – 39% of the workforce. They value their ability to balance work and out-of-work commitments. The ability to work flexibly from home, perhaps with a four-day workweek or unlimited leave, is important to them. They tend to be under 35 and are mainly male.

Salary Driven Weekend Workers – 13% of the workforce. They are motivated by the salary range on offer and show a willingness to work long hours including weekends to achieve a high salary. They’re not concerned about employee benefits, ethical or social issues, or location.  They are significantly more likely to be male.

Employee Satisfaction Enthusiasts – 10% of the workforce. They are highly sensitive to employee reviews. They’re also motivated by benefits packages and companies that treat their employees right. They tend to be in mid-level roles and are slightly more like to be female.

Lone Rangers – 14% of the workforce. They are focused on salary and location. They are motivated by high salaries and the opportunity to work remotely. They are mostly male.

The report identifies what is most likely to drive an employee away from an organisation,  with bullying, harassment and micro-aggressions coming ahead of an uncompetitive salary and poor work-life balance. What attracts them most includes being well paid, job satisfaction and job security.

The top red flags when applying to a job are:

  • Poor employee reviews
  • A poor social record
  • Poor business practices
  • To work at home for only one day a week
  • Being wholly office-based

The report looks at different issues and how different segments of the workforce view them, for instance, on work-life balance, it finds it matters considerably less to Salary-driven Weekend Workers. Although Salary-driven Weekend Workers are still more attracted to jobs that offer a four-day working week (25%) instead of five days, this is less of a draw to them than for the other workforce segments.

It calls on employers to pay careful attention to the motivations of each employee segment and tailor offerings accordingly if they want to continue to attract and retain talent and to resist the temptation to move back to pre-pandemic ways of working and make work flexible as well as being transparent.

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