Swiss Workforce Preference Study 2020

Knowing what matters

Over the past 18 months organisations around the world have had to confront more transformational processes than in the past 10 years, particularly in managing their human capital. 

What factors shape the job decisions of the future workforce? What are younger generations looking for amid rapidly evolving technologies and work models? What employer branding messages are most attractive?

To help answer these questions and more, PwC created a workforce preference survey and database to capture workforce insights for supporting organisations in attracting and retaining both new and experienced talent. In one of our largest surveys of workers, PwC received inputs from more than 50,000 participants from 11 countries across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) telling us what matters to them and what they are looking for from their employers. 

Find out how the results of the Swiss Workforce Preference Study can prepare your business for future success!

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We will start the next round of the survey soon

Would you like to take part in our next round or run the survey in your company or do you have any questions? 

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Content of the survey

The survey included 12 main focus areas such as company culture, salary, work-life balance, personal and professional development, and work environment. The focus areas were further divided into more than 55 work-related employee preference factors.

Pay and bonuses
Other benefits
Transparent business operation
Daily work
Company culture
Company reputation
12 Focus areas
Personal & professional development
Work and life balance
People at work
Physical work environment

Demographics of the study

Over 300 respondents from Switzerland participated in the survey. The breakdown of gender, generation, employee/student ratio, and field of study among the respondents is shown below.

Generation by Gender
Gender - Total 309 participants
Generation - Total 309 participants
Employee / Student
Field of study

Key takeaways from the study

Workforce strategy

Organisational leaders must have a better understanding of what their current and future talent expect and value in their employers. Even before the recruitment process begins, companies need to be thinking about how they will attract and retain key talents for sustained growth and profitability. By creating a distinctive Employer Value Proposition (EVP), companies can clearly and transparently set out their vision for a work environment that helps their people to feel included, engaged and motivated to thrive.

New normal

Now is the time to advance from responses to the pandemic, to a sustainable model of working that is flexible and accessible to your entire workforce. Survey results from younger generations indicate a desire for interesting and challenging work in a company culture that supports new ways of working. Top-down edicts are no longer effective, suggesting that the most successful employers should have a systematic approach for engaging with their employees and taking their views into account. 

Employee experience

Managing talent in a digital world means creating innovative ecosystems that build enabled, agile workforces. Younger generations take their personal and professional development seriously and look for coaches and mentors to help them navigate these ecosystems successfully. From the leaders they follow to the colleagues they partner with, current and future employees are expressing a desire for cooperation, trustworthiness and inspiration throughout the organisation. 


As companies accelerate their investments in automation and IT infrastructure, employees across every sector will need new skills to help them to think and work in different ways. Employees consistently demonstrate a desire to reskill and upskill, but unequal access to training remains. Survey respondents ranked digital, technical, and soft skill training high on their list of workforce preferences and expect employers to provide access to the training they need for the future.

We are not a team because we work together. We are a team because we respect, trust, and care for each other.

Tarik D. Kotry, Manager, People and Organisation, PwC Switzerland
Additional insights based on gender
Additional insights based on generation

Download the survey results

Contact us

Jose Marques

Jose Marques

Director People and Organisation and Leader New world. New skills., PwC Switzerland

Tel: +41 58 792 96 34