2022 BCW Expectations at Work Study

We know what employees want. Do you?

Managing employee expectations has always been complicated, and something leaders have wrangled with for years. But, in recent years, the challenge has become even more significant, and it is now an issue that, according to a 2021 WPP survey, CEOs and other senior leaders rank in the top three of their biggest concerns.

At a time when leaders are under increasing pressure to create efficient, productive, and profitable organisations, how do they balance investing in talent with managing these conflicting priorities? Especially when the cost of attracting and retaining talent is so high?

It has never been more important to understand what employees want and expect from their leaders and their workplace experience, and to have systems and processes in place to respond to these needs. Our Expectations at Work study reveals what employees want, as well as those areas, where employees’ lived experiences aren’t meeting their expectations.

1 in 2 employees say they’re very likely to stay in their current job.
24% more likely for employees to stay in their job, where salary, job security and workplace culture needs are met.
14 point gap between employees’ expectations (47%) and reality (33%) on key culture and leadership drivers.

Key Themes

  • pay & benefits

    Back to basics

    Job security, a safe and comfortable workplace, and competitive base salary top employee expectation

  • Where & How I Work

    Hybrid working

    Employees rank being able to choose where they work between home and the office at just 12th.


    Different expectations fo

    Salary places 2nd for Baby Boomers, compared to 26th for Gen Z – who rate most workplace culture


    Employees want more

    An average gap of 16-points between expectations and reality of leaders, especially in the pharma se

About the Expectations at Work study

BCW’s Expectations at Work study surveyed a total of 13,488 employees of large companies (organizations with 500+ employees) across 15 countries around the world.

The study focussed on five key industries – Consumer Goods, Hospitality, Manufacturing, Financial Services & Insurance, and Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals.

The countries surveyed included: Australia, China, India, Japan, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, United Kingdom, Brazil, Mexico, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and the United States of America.

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Download the Study

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BCW ChangeBCW Change is a specialist team with proven expertise in the people side of change, connecting leaders and their organizations to move people through complex change and deliver sustainable growth. The Change team is part of BCW, a global communications agency.Contact us