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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A majority of employees around the world say they're choosing their jobs based not just on salaries and benefits, but also social impact and their personal beliefs, according to new data.

Why it matters: That attitude represents a seismic shift that has intensified during the pandemic: People no longer work to live; they live for their work.

Details: In the U.S. and across several other large economies — including China, U.K., Brazil, India, Germany and Japan — a vast majority of people (76%) say they have higher expectations for a prospective employer now than they did three years ago, according to a special Edelman Trust Barometer report.

  • More than half (61%) say they would evaluate an employer based on considerations such as the company's stance on social issues, or its policies on employees' ability to express their political beliefs.
  • Most people globally (76%) say they feel more empowered now to take action within their organization, either by working within the system or taking issues public via whistleblowing, strikes or leaks.

These shifts have commanded employers' attention. In light of the pandemic, many now say their workers — not customers or clients — are their most important stakeholder.

  • Most employers surveyed (60%) say their employees have more power and leverage now than they had before the pandemic.
  • As a result, more companies are taking public positions on social issues, including climate change and racial equality.

Between the lines: Several pandemic-driven changes, like remote work, economic instability, and changing social habits, have caused anxiety and exhaustion among employees, pushing them to find more meaning in their work.

  • Most employees say they are working more, but many (42%) say their employer is not taking the issue of employee burnout seriously and actively taking steps to prevent it.
  • As a result, job turnover is at an all-time high, with 1 in five people saying they either quit their jobs within the last six months or plan to quit within the next six months.

What to watch: While there are challenges that come with meeting new worker expectations, the survey finds that there's upside for employers that embrace this new reality.

  • Employees who are driven by beliefs say they are much more likely to stay at an organization long-term that shares their values.

Go deeper

Ina Fried, author of Login
Oct 16, 2021 - Technology

Fixing the pipeline won't solve tech's race problem

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

The tech industry likes to cast its failure to include enough people of color and other underrepresented groups as a "pipeline problem" — one that would vanish if only more such people studied tech skills and entered the field.

But there's another reason U.S. tech companies struggle to diversify: work environments that critics say are rife with harassment and discrimination even as companies paint themselves as champions for diversity.

New wave of strikes will test worker power

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Thousands of John Deere workers hit the picket line this week after the union smacked down a new worker contract from the farm and equipment maker.

Why it matters: There’s a wave of worker angst spreading across the country. They wield new power that’s come with a historic worker shortage.

Updated 2 hours ago - World

17 U.S. and Canadian missionaries kidnapped in Haiti

Haitian soldiers guard the public prosecutor's office in Port-au-Prince this month. Photo: Richard Pierrin/AFP via Getty Images

American officials and authorities in Haiti are working to try and free 17 hostages from a U.S.-based missionary group who were kidnapped in Port-au-Prince over the weekend, AP reported Monday.

The latest: Christian Aid Ministries said in a statement Sunday, "The group of 16 U.S citizens and one Canadian citizen includes five men, seven women, and five children." The Ohio-based organization said they were on a trip to visit an orphanage when they were kidnapped Saturday.