Skip to main content

Employers Missing the Mark on Meeting Workers’ Priorities

Analysis  |  By Jay Asser  
   May 24, 2024

The discrepancy is making it more difficult for organizations to retain their workers.

For CEOs navigating workforce challenges, it’s vital to understand what matters most to your employees.

Yet, employers appear to have misperceptions about workers’ concerns regarding burnout, job satisfaction, and fulfilment, according to a survey by Indeed.

The report, which fielded responses from 1,014 healthcare job seekers and 489 professionals engaged in recruiting or hiring employees from November 2023 to January 2024, revealed that employers still have their work cut out for creating a culture workers want to be part of.

Burnout remains an obstacle, but only 9% of respondents said they were dissatisfied with the profession overall. However, 54% of employers said that the average tenure of their employees is four years or less, suggesting that burnout and workers walking out the door is not due to the industry, but the result of dissatisfaction with their organization.

The survey found that the top five drivers of burnout for workers were feeling overworked and responsible for too many things during shifts (64%), feeling underappreciated by a manger or supervisor (42%), not enough resources to do their jobs adequately (30%), feeling underappreciated by their patients (29%), and feeling underappreciated by their coworkers/colleagues (28%).

Significant drivers of job dissatisfaction included shift incentives (36%), sign-on bonuses (34%), lack of appropriate staffing in critical positions (32%), and the psychological safety measures in place to address burnout (31%).

Employees care about compensation and benefits, but they also value relationships. The top two factors job seekers were most satisfied with were relationships/interactions with their patients (72%) and co-workers (67%), while more than half (56%) of respondents said they are most satisfied with their relationship with their manager or supervisor.

Not enough employers recognize what’s important to workers though. For example, only 20% of employers felt appropriate staffing in the workplace was important to employees, compared to 50% for workers.

Work-life balance was chosen as the second-most important factor for job seekers (78%), but less than half (48%) of employers considered it as a top three reason for potential employees to join an organization.

“For healthcare organizations, the real journey begins with recognizing and addressing the functional gaps within their workforce structures,” Travis Moore, director of the healthcare category at Indeed, said in the news release. “It starts by understanding the unique contributions each of these remarkable individuals bring to their organizations, but the real magic happens when we design models that seamlessly blend into their lives, offering not just a means to live but a pathway to autonomy through diverse and flexible working options.

“By nurturing a culture of support and understanding, employers can not only boost job satisfaction but also uplift the quality of care provided by their teams.”

CEOs have little choice but to rethink the way they approach the workforce if they want to build a sustainable environment for their employees.

To understand what their workers want, leaders should try to put themselves in the shoes of their physicians and nurses and aim to improve the experience by focusing on work-life balance and relationships.

Investing in and implementing technology can also help reduce the workload placed on employees, potentially resulting in less burnout and turnover.

Jay Asser is the contributing editor for strategy at HealthLeaders. 


Indeed’s Pulse of Healthcare 2024 Report finds what workers consider to be the main reasons for burnout and job dissatisfaction.

Employers undervalue factors that employees or job seekers reported as significant in their decision to stay at or join an organization.

To improve recruitment and retention, CEOs must focus on giving employees more work-life balance and utilize technology to supplement their workforce.

Get the latest on healthcare leadership in your inbox.