The Influence and Impact of STEM Workers

STEM workers – people with education backgrounds in Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics – are some of the most sought after individuals in today’s talent pool. They bring special skills and knowledge to an increasingly complex and technology-driven workplace. But is the value of their contributions to the modern world of work limited to the importance of their skillsets? How do STEM workers feel about their employers? What drives them to excel? Is their approach to work different than non-STEM workers?

In its new study, Evolution of Work 2.0: The Me vs. the We Mindset, the ADP Research Institute® (ADP RI) – which identifies and analyzes trends in the working world to help unlock business potential and enable informed decisions and actions – surveyed employees and employers in 13 countries. The study expands on ADP RI’s original Evolution of Work report released last year that sought to better understand what workers consider when deciding to stay at their current job or accept a new position.

This new peek inside the minds of workers andreD their employers to understand what each group thinks includes a profile of STEM workers in the U.S., whose approach to work and relationship with employers, among other things, are likely to influence the look and mindset of talent in the global workplace, going forward.

STEM workers provide a strong, new perspective

According to survey results, STEM workers are slightly younger and more male than non-STEM workers. They are not only in high demand, but also feel more accomplished, motivated, valued, satisfied, and recognized at work. They also feel more positive than non-STEM employees that workers will have greater flexibility to shape their professional lives in the future. Moreover, most STEM employees feel they will have an opportunity to advance and play a significant role in their organization.

Research indicates that STEM workers also rate their companies more highly on a number of key organizational attributes than do their non-STEM counterparts. The ADP RI whitepaper spells out details about specific attributes, including STEM vs. non-STEM comparisons.

Worker loyalty is redefined

Although STEM workers express a more positive attitude about their companies, that doesn’t mean they aren’t looking for greater opportunities to advance in their field and make more money elsewhere. They are, in fact, slightly more likely to be open to a new job opportunity than non-STEM workers. Furthermore, STEM workers are more likely to “reach” for jobs that require more experience than they possess.

While survey responses show that most STEM workers have faith in the corporate process regarding talent management, better opportunities for advancement typically trump traditional loyalty to employers.

What drives the STEM persona?

Confidence in professional abilities drives the ambitions of STEM workers. Research indicates that STEM workers express significant satisfaction, accomplishment, purpose, value, motivation, and engagement in their jobs. They are open to look for new jobs and are particular about the positions they pursue.

While “work” itself is the top driver of job consideration for both STEM and non-STEM respondents, their interests quickly diverge, according to survey results. STEM workers tend to prefer opportunities with more flexibility, advancement, and paid parental leave. Non-STEM employees are more concerned with hours and the cost of benefits.

Bottom line? STEM workers know they are in demand and are comfortable they can find an equivalent job to the one they have now – especially one that includes the utilization of multiple forms of work flexibility as part of their work experience.

About this report: An online survey was conducted among 5,330 employees and 3,218 employers across 13 countries in companies with 50+ employees. Countries surveyed include: U.S., Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Chile, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Netherlands, Australia, China, India and Singapore. Data was weighted by country based on size of the workforce. Employee data was also weighted by age and gender based on their representation in the individual country’s workforce.

TAGS: Human Capital Management Human Resources Talent Management Performance Management