PwC’s Global Workforce Hopes & Fears Survey 2023

A close look at the hopes and fears of individuals, organisations, and communities around the world.

The 2023 Belgian Outlook on Hopes & Fears

Each year, PwC runs a global survey to take the pulse of the workforce of 27 industries across 46 countries. This year, the survey was taken by 53,912 workers, 1,000 of which in Belgium. It was conducted in April 2023 with one objective: to better understand the attitudes and behaviours of employees. 

Keep an eye out all year long for thought leadership and deep dives into this treasure trove of data, on this page and across social media.

This year’s survey showed that 7 out of 10 Belgian employees are happy with their jobs and feel like they can be themselves at work. Reason enough the celebrate? Not so fast: with almost 1 in 5 respondents facing financial difficulties, 43% not being able to put money aside, and 16% working several jobs, it is clear that the financial crisis is starting to take a toll on more and more households. Meanwhile, gender inequality remains an issue, with women landing fewer top jobs than men and being less optimistic about the future of their career.

As we dig deeper into the Belgian results of our worldwide survey, we can look for answers to questions such as: do employees trust their employer? Do they feel like their employer is doing enough to tackle climate change? How do they envision their role within the company? Do they feel valued for their skills or are they afraid they will lose their job to AI? Let’s see what they have to say. 

Chapter 1 image

Workforce Environment

Driven and involved, but too often rebuffed

When arriving in a new company, most Belgians (67%) hope to acquire new skills. They seek productive feedback (61%), proactively try to solve the problems they encounter (80%), bring innovative ideas to the table (62%), and are willing to take on extra responsibilities (65%). All this demonstrates how most Belgian employees are willing to go the extra mile, and how employers can count on them to grow professionally and come forward when necessary. Most employees would recommend their company as a good place to work (61%), which also seems to show that they believe in what they do.

How is this strong enthusiasm welcomed by managers? Not as well as you might expect, judging by the replies to our survey. Dissent and debate are not often tolerated (37%), neither are minor failures (38%). The result? Almost half of the respondents don’t feel entirely aligned with their company’s values.

 

Chapter 2 image

Workforce Skills

Wishing for a better recognition of skillsets

The two main elements employers look at in a CV are professional background and skills. While 3 in 5 respondents consider both aspects to be equally valued, the rest feel like employers still focus on their job history too much, and not enough on their skills. In fact, half of the respondents believe their formal qualifications are not relevant to their current job.

When it comes to the skills they value the most, a short majority of Belgian employees (58%) tend to consider critical thinking as the important one for the next five years of their career. But only half of them are confident that their employers will provide them with the tools, resources and opportunities to further develop them. 

Serafine Vandebuerie

“The undeniable power of the Workforce lies in the untapped potential and unique value they can offer to organisations. Hand in hand, people and organisations can create a future where purpose, trust and collaboration energise us to achieve remarkable sustained outcomes.”

Serafine Vandebuerie, Partner, PwC Belgium

Trust

Transparency, but not enough honesty and fairness

Can managers be transparent in their decision-making process while lacking honesty and integrity in their interactions with their teams? It would seem so, based on what came out of our survey results. While only 1 in 4 of respondents think their managers are not sufficiently open and transparent, the proportions increase when it comes to lack of honesty and integrity (3 out of 5) and fair and equitable treatment (64%).

Chapter 3 image

Climate Change

Employers aren’t doing enough to tackle climate change

We already know how much the general public cares about the contribution of businesses to climate change. In a previous study focusing on the perception of the importance of ESG, PwC found that 83% of consumers believe companies should be actively promoting ESG best practices. What about Belgian employers: do they actually act on climate change? Some 85% of respondents seem to think so, even though only 36% think enough is being done.

Another question is whether people think their employers have a responsibility to tackle climate change. Judging by the Belgian panel’s replies, only 46% of them do, yet a short majority  (57%) believe green skills will be important for their career over the next five years.

Axel Smits

“Our country has everything it needs to make the diversity of talent a strength, but a strong and inclusive labor market will only emerge if we give this talent opportunities and help it to grow. In turn, this will contribute to a more sustainable society.”

Axel smits, Chairman & Territory Senior Partner, PwC Belgium

Artificial intelligence (AI)

AI generally not yet seen as a major disruption

With AI taking business practices by storm, it’s always fascinating to see how employees and managers anticipate the impact of such innovations on their daily jobs. Does the Belgian workforce believe AI will change the way we work? 57% of respondents think so. Do they see this as a step forward? This is where things get a little worrying for businesses investing heavily in AI: while solution providers argue that AI will not replace human work but make it more efficient, only 1 in 5 respondents who believe AI will impact their job consider that it will increase their productivity and efficiency. 

The idea that AI is not meant to replace people, on the other hand, seems well anchored in people’s minds. Among the people who believe AI will impact their job, only 1 in 10 think it will eventually replace them.

Stay tuned as we continue to delve into the fascinating insights uncovered by this year's Hopes & Fears survey. Whether you’re seeking to understand the evolving aspirations that shape our world or eager to address the pressing concerns that demand attention, we promise to deliver captivating content that ignites meaningful discussions and sparks innovative ideas. Be sure to keep an eye out for our upcoming publications, as we explore together the intricate tapestry of hopes, fears, and possibilities that shape our collective future.

 

About the Survey:

Each year, PwC organizes a major survey to take the pulse of employees across 46 countries. The 15-minute survey has been taken by 53,912 workers this year. It was conducted in April 2023 with one objective: Better understanding the attitudes and behaviors of employees across 27 industries.

Want to learn more about our findings on the international workforce?

Read PwC’s Global Hopes & Fears report now!

Contact us

Serafine Vandebuerie

Serafine Vandebuerie

Partner, People & Transformation, PwC Belgium

Tel: +32 499 56 70 93

Sander Van Laere

Sander Van Laere

Director, PwC Belgium

Tel: +32 495 91 64 83

Bart Van den Bussche

Bart Van den Bussche

Director Reward Services, PwC Belgium

Tel: +32 474 23 93 48

Connect with PwC Belgium