Organisations face a ‘Great Resignation’ as British workers seek greater workplace flexibility and higher salaries
A new study from Workhuman has revealed that almost half of UK workers – 46 percent – intend to resign from their jobs within the next 12 months. This compares to 2019 – before the pandemic – when just 27.5 percent of Brits stated they wanted to switch careers.
The Workhuman Fall 2021 International Survey Report, which tracked the mood of more than 3,500 full-time employees in the UK as well as the US, Canada and Ireland, found that British workers are the most likely to move roles, with 48 percent of UK men, and 45 percent of UK women claiming they plan to quit in the next year, compared to 38 percent of employees in the other countries.
Great Resignation spurred on by desire for greater flexibility and higher pay
The number one reason British men want to change roles is to gain more workplace flexibility, with 36 percent of male job seekers citing this reason. In comparison, female workers’ principal motivation is better pay.
Main reason for wanting to move jobs in the next 12 months:
- My salary is too low
- I want more flexibility
- I want a better work culture
- I want a better job title
- I no longer want to work for my manager
Burnout is rife
British workers are also experiencing high levels of burnout. Almost two-thirds of women (65.5 percent) and 59.5 percent of the men revealed that they had experienced burnout during their careers. Of those, 81.5 percent of women and 78 percent of men stated this had occurred during the last 12 months.
“After a year-and-an-half of uncertainly and strain, British workers now have a very strong idea of what they will and will not tolerate at work. The upshot of this is that many are seeking new opportunities, which offer more flexibility and/or better compensation,” said Derek Irvine, Senior Vice President of Client Strategy and Consulting. “Unless organisations take preventative steps, they could soon be facing unprecedented levels of employee turnover. Sectors suffering from acute skills shortages, such as construction, technology and engineering, probably have the most cause for concern.”
Working parents are more likely to quit than stay in post
The biggest flight-risks in the UK workforce are working parents, 52.5 percent of which stated they intend to resign within the next year. Of those, just over one-third (35.5 percent), said they wanted more flexibility at work.
Brits want a mix of office- and home-based work
When asked to state their preferred way of working, almost half of British respondents (47.5 percent) stated they want to split their time between the office and working from home. Almost one-third (32.5 percent) said they would prefer to work remotely all of the time, while just one-in-five said they wanted to work in the office all of the time. In contrast, at the time of the survey – in late June 2021 – 46 percent of women and 38 percent of men were working on-site all of the time.
Employers must take action
“According to Gallup, the cost of replacing a member of staff is somewhere between one-and-an-half and two-times their annual salary. When you consider how many people are planning to switch roles over the next year, it’s not hard to envisage how costs will mount up for UK organisations; costs that many can ill-afford after the economic impact of the shutdown,” continued Irvine. “It’s clear that organisations need to make employee retention a strategic objective, creating environments where employees are recognised and rewarded for their contributions, and where employee needs are front and centre of the decision-making process.”
For more data from the Workhuman Fall 2021 International Survey Report, download the new paper: How the Great Resignation Will Shape HR and the Future of Work.
This survey was directed by Workhuman 18 June to 1 July 2021. This is the 13th deployment of the employee survey since its launch in spring 2011. The respondent sampling of the survey was conducted by independent market research firm Dynata. The final sample of the survey was composed of 3,580 randomly selected fully employed persons in the US, Ireland, Canada, and UK (age 18 or older). 548 of the sample were based in the UK.
The survey has a margin of error of +/- 2 percentage points at a 95 percent level of confidence.
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