The Employee Expectations Report 2021


The year 2020 was one of the most disruptive years in recent memory for organizations and their employees. The spread of Covid-19 altered the way we live, work, and relax overnight, while the Black Lives Matter movement created a wave of outcry about police brutality and increased global public awareness of the systemic inequality that still exists in our societies.

These events have amplified many of the key themes that emerged in last year’s report, with Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I), health and wellbeing, and flexible working still being top of mind for employees. This year’s report also offers insights into employee expectations around career growth. With many organizations forced to make redundancies, training budgets frozen, and a number of other cost-cutting measures put into place — employees are understandably concerned about what the future holds for their careers.

DE&I was one of the key themes that emerged in last year’s report, with the proportion of employee comments increasing 19% in 2019. Since then, DE&I has become a central employee concern.

The main focus of any DE&I initiative needs to be on better representation and inclusion of underrepresented groups, but as the data shows, organizations also need to consider how to engage with and educate those in the majority. Failure to do so can lead to a lack of engagement, and even resistance from those in a position to enable change.

This whitepaper by Workday company Peakon explains how organizations should support DE&I in 2021:
• Embed accountability
• Remember that systemic change is needed, not just personal
• Measure inclusion and diversity

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