phrase retire in 5 years crossed out 90% of sponsors surveyed report at least some employees are delaying retirement. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Hybrid schedules. Mental and physical wellness. Fairness and equity. The US workforce emerged from COVID-19 with very different attitudes toward these needs—and in many ways, public-health uncertainty magnified financial uncertainty. More workers today say they’re stressed about money — that anxiety can be a big hit to mental wellness, which can ultimately impair corporate financial health.

Even as existing workers’ priorities shift, employers are drawing from a very different post-pandemic labor pool, with job seekers expecting more. There’s more focus on work-life balance, diversity and inclusion, and better benefits—especially retirement plans that foster stability and a sense of security. With the tightest labor market in decades, people are more willing to change jobs to fulfill their expectations, causing mobility trends to spike. A record 47 million Americans quit in 2021 during this “Great Resignation,” per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, seeking new jobs or heading into retirement.

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