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University of Phoenix supports research by Executive Networks on understanding and adapting to evolving shift in employee and employer dynamics 

By Sharla Hooper

Research contributes to growing body of knowledge informing how employers can anticipate and adjust to workforce changing needs related to upskilling, well-being, flexible ways of working, and retention as well as diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI)

University of Phoenix was a co-sponsor of a recent global research study conducted by Executive Networks on the shifting expectations workers have of their companies and how this is influencing what organizations can expect from their employees. The study, “The 2023 Future Of Working and Learning Report: Shifting Employee-Employer Dynamics,” reveals how employees want to see purpose and meaning from employers to justify a commute, as well as the importance of upskilling, talent attraction and retention, well-being, flexible ways of working, and diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) as critical to organizational success. 

Based on a survey of more than 1,300 human resources, business leaders, knowledge and frontline workers across North America, India and Europe, the study found that despite many other current priorities, upskilling is considered most critical, by 41% of respondents. 

“Employees are increasingly seeking relational aspects over transactional benefits in their employment, including the opportunities they have for acquiring skills to support their career growth. The study indicates that workers expect their employers to prepare them for the demands of their current job and their next career opportunity,” said Raghu Krishnaiah, chief operating officer of University of Phoenix. “Higher education needs to be an effective partner in this new paradigm, ready to engage working adults and provide skills-focused solutions within rather than adjacent to the workplace.”

“Employers need to provide equal opportunity for advancement and development for all employees and eliminate the possibility of a ‘proximity bias’ between the in-person and remote/hybrid workforce,” said Jeanne Meister, Executive VP, Executive Networks.

In addition to upskilling, the study found that enabling new ways of working (36%), supporting mental health (36%), retaining talent (36%) and DEI (35%) were all considered equally important to organizational success by study respondents. 

With employee stress and burnout considered the biggest contributing factor to why employees leave an organization by 49% of each respondent category, the study also found organizations are working to address this more wholistically, offering more inclusive employee well-being benefits and creating policies that support workers and attract and retain diverse talent. And beyond specific mental health benefits, many companies now provide benefits aimed at reducing stress for employees – from financial wellness training and benefits to ensuring more predictable work schedules.

“Our University of Phoenix Career Institute® releases the annual Career Optimism Index® study, which is a comprehensive look at the state of American workers' career trajectories and their sentiments about the future of their jobs and career opportunities. Throughout the year we engage in related research that informs our own evolution as well as that of the workforce and employment models,” states Krishnaiah. “This new research by Executive Networks is an important contribution to understanding the landscape of work right now, and helping employers and higher education institutions understand the expectations and realities of today’s employees.”

Access the complete study and key findings analysis at the Executive Networks website.


About University of Phoenix

University of Phoenix is continually innovating to help working adults enhance their careers in a rapidly changing world. Flexible schedules, relevant courses, interactive learning, and Career Services for Life® help students more effectively pursue career and personal aspirations while balancing their busy lives. For more information, visit