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UK – One in four workers mull leaving job citing dissatisfaction

UK – One in four workers mull leaving job citing dissatisfaction

September 21, 2022

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One in four UK workers, or 25%, are considering leaving their current job within the next 12 months, citing job dissatisfaction as the main reason, according to research from Reed.co.uk.

The research found that 18% of UK workers are undecided on whether they planned to leave their job or not. 

‘I don’t enjoy my current job’ ranked as the main reason (30%) why workers are looking for a new job, exceeding the desire for an ‘increased salary’ (29%), followed by a dislike of the current workplace culture (19%).

According to the research, the root causes of this sense of job dissatisfaction among workers range from low salaries (50%), toxic workplace culture (44%), poor management (39%), a sense of not being valued (34%), and a lack of career progression opportunities (16%). 

The desire to move jobs in search of more satisfying work ranked highest amongst middle-aged workers – those aged 35-44 (33%)- and 45–54-year-olds (34%), compared to an average of 25% amongst other age groups. However, 18-34-year-olds are almost twice as likely to act on this job dissatisfaction by considering a job move than older workers (32% compared to 17% of 55-64-year-olds). 

For employers keen to retain staff, a salary increase (50%), flexible hours (24%) and more perks and benefits (24%) rank as the factors most likely to make workers stay. 

The benefits most valued by workers include flexible working hours (62%), remote working options (36%), mental health support (34%) and career development programmes (32%).

Nearly half, or 45%, of workers stated that they either only apply for jobs that list flexible or remote working or are more likely to apply for such roles.

James Reed, Chairman of Reed.co.uk, said, “Among the many long-lasting impacts of Covid-19 on the UK economy is the increasing demand among workers for employment that provides more meaningful, enjoyable and satisfying experiences.”

“The record levels of job vacancies on offer across all sectors and regions have empowered workers to prioritise a sense of job satisfaction and, in turn, to more actively critique their current employer’s inability to meet their needs,” Reed added.

“While salary increases from current and prospective employers remain attractive to workers - increasingly so in a cost-of-living crisis - the fact that job dissatisfaction ranks so highly amongst all age brackets is a signal to employers that more can be done to better meet the needs of workers beyond pay rises,” Reed continued. “In fact, for UK businesses unable to match the salary offers of their competitors and attract talent, this re-focus in the workforce on job satisfaction may provide a unique opportunity to edge ahead by offering broader employee benefits beyond pay, such as more flexible working, mental health support and enhanced career development programmes.”