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Happiness at work improves but nearly half of UK employees will look for new jobs in 2018

One in four employees said they feel unhappy at work compared to one in three who said they did a year ago

Stephen Little
Tuesday 02 January 2018 01:10 GMT
Most people are thinking of changing jobs because of poor management
Most people are thinking of changing jobs because of poor management

Happiness in the workplace has improved slightly over the last year, but nearly half of UK employees still expect to be looking for a new job in 2018, new research has revealed.

According to a survey by human resource firm Investors in People, one in four employees feel unhappy at work compared to one in three who said they did at the same point last year.

Its annual job exodus survey found that 47 per cent of the UK workforce expects to be looking for a new job this year, with nearly one in five people already actively searching for opportunities.

This compares to 59 per cent of respondents that who said they intended to get a new job in last year’s survey.

The poll of 2,000 people found that, of the people who are considering leaving their current role, 49 per cent say that they are thinking of doing so because of poor management – making that the most popular reason for a potential move.

Pay is also a driver of unhappiness in the workplace, with 40 per cent citing it as a reason. Some 39 per cent of people who say they are considering leaving say that they feel undervalued, and 30 per cent say that they lack career progression opportunities.

Paul Devoy, chief executive of Investors for People, said it was vital employers address these concerns if they wish to retain the skills and talents of their staff.

“In a year where unemployment has reached its lowest level since 1975, but wages have stagnated, the improvements to the labour market have failed to translate to the pockets of UK workers,” he said.

“With research suggesting that employee disengagement costs the UK economy £340bn annually, bad leadership is eroding UK productivity,” he added.

“Management strategies must evolve to meet the demands of employees if organisations are to retain staff.”

The TUC last week warned that real pay in the UK is set to fall again this year, leaving the country bottom of a league of developed countries ranked by pay growth.

According to the TUC’s analysis of Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) data, pay across the UK is expected to fall by 0.7 per cent in 2018 after inflation is taken into account.

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