ore than discussing who comes from Venus or Mars, at Coverflex we are interested in knowing how employees can be happy - or happier - at work. After all, what do they want and what does talent look for in a job and in a company?

Here are (their!) seven answers.

1. Fair wages

As Iza Martins, tourism technician, says. “we all have something to pay”. Therefore, remuneration - a fair one - continues to be essential when measuring employee satisfaction. But the wage is much more than a bank transfer at the end of each month. It is also a way of measuring recognition for the employee's work: through it, the employee feels that their effort, dedication and results are valued. Therefore, a salary that is too low or not paid overtime is extremely demotivating.

2. Extra compensation

In addition to the salary, supplemental benefits are another way of composing the salary and valuing it.

These benefits are exempt from IRS, SS, or both, for the employee and the company. Moreover, they also strongly give away the company's values.

A company that allows their employees to pay for their children's daycare with part of their flexible benefits balance, for example by using childcare vouchers, is a company that cares about family. If they choose to offer access to mental health services or gyms, they're clearly encouraging the care and well-being of employees.

And these are just a few examples of benefits that can say a lot about an organisation and its values. And nowadays there is so much to explore - and offer!

3. Flexible hours

Having the option to start working between 8am and 10am can be a good step.

However, an even greater and more significant step towards stimulating an employee's productivity and creativity could be, for example, to allow full flexibility of hours. This way, employees will work whenever they really feel the most motivated.

The study “The Study of Compensation 2021-22 - a study about the future of work and the work of the future" goes in line with this point. This study was carried out by Coverflex, with the support of APG, with the objective of identifying and the mapping matters related precisely to flexibility - of both working hours and working space -, compensation and flexible benefits, among other measures, policies and dynamics deeply linked to the well-being of employees in a company. Of the 814 participants in the study, nearly 60% would like to try to work 40 hours a week spread over just four days a week. On the other hand, 30% of the study participants would like to test a more reduced working logic of 32 hours a week, even if it would mean a pay cut. Still, 7 out of 10 respondents consider having a “flexible” or “very flexible” work schedule.

In the 1st. Annual Report on the Status of Remote Work in Portugal, carried out by Remote Portugal between January and March 2021, the matter of flexibility was also taken into account, and the main improvements felt by the respondents were in the quality of life, both family life and personal life, and in productivity.

4. The project

When given the choice, it seems clear as well that most people prefer job with which they identify. “The job has to 'add something' to me as a professional and as a person”, says Ana Molarinho, marketing professional.

There are more and more candidates preferring companies whose values ​​are in line with their own. On the other hand, there are also companies that are concerned with presenting their values ​​and working (and hiring) in this sense. As such, values ​​cannot be hollow; they have to be taken seriously and lived with commitment.‍

Take the example of Apple, where, in addition to the CV, the candidate's personality is also taken into account when recruiting. In this sense, Apple prefers to hire people with an innovative mind and who can really make a difference, giving them time and incentives to develop their personal projects. Or the recruiters in Bumble, who, in all of their job ads, begin by underlining that they “strongly encourage people of colour, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and non-binary people, veterans, parents, and individuals with disabilities to apply.”

5. Work environment

Eight hours a day

40 hours a week

160 hours a month

We actually spend a lot of time at work.

For this reason, a healthy and friendly environment is essential for many employees. Often, more than the salary or the project, it is the people who “lock” employees to a job - either because they enjoy the atmosphere of the office, or because they like their co-workers and/or because that is where they can find some of their friends!

Curently, companies also seem more aware of this matter, investing in team building activities to strengthen ties between employees. Several studies show that when there is trust, productivity and performance also increase.

6. Aligned leadership

Regardless of whether it is a startup or a company established in the market for decades, having an aligned and consistent leadership regarding the way forward is halfway for teams to be united, motivated and productive.

Faced with a cohesive and aligned leadership, which conveys the company's goals in a clear and consistent way, employees will be able to develop the autonomy to make informed decisions and in accordance with the path that the organisation intends to follow, optimising resources and creating an environment of trust and transparency in the company.

7. Career development

The relationship between the employee and the employer always has two sides. On the one hand, the employer expects the employee to effectively work and contribute to the company's goals and its growth and profit. On the other hand, the employee is also entitled to expect more from the company - more than “just” payment at the end of the month or a flexible schedule. ‍

Having more than "just" payment at the end of the month could also be having the possibility of growing within the company, taking on new responsibilities and higher positions. In this context, investing in the training of professionals, giving them space to grow and learn, is another aspect that attracts talent.