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New research uncovers main reasons why 59% of UK workers want to leave their jobs

Keeping talent and retaining top performers is difficult. With the ongoing skills shortages affecting most if not all industries, and more people in employment than at any time over the last 40 years, the need for Employers to retain their best people has never been greater. The question is how can this be achieved? To start, you need to understand why people want to leave an Employer in the first place.

Keeping talent and retaining top performers is difficult. With the ongoing skills shortages affecting most if not all industries, and more people in employment than at any time over the last 40 years, the need for Employers to retain their best people has never been greater. The question is how can this be achieved? To start, you need to understand why people want to leave an Employer in the first place.

A survey conducted by Investors in People (IIP) revealed that more UK workers than ever before (59%) are looking to move jobs, despite economic uncertainty. This shouldn’t be a surprise especially when you consider that 50% of our total waking lives are spent at work, so it follows that if a more attractive opportunity should present itself elsewhere, it may be hard to persuade that employee to stay with you.

Indeed, the same survey also found that nearly 1 in 3 workers are unhappy in their current role. Of course, employers can’t glue employees to their seats, but there are ways companies can retain their top talent and become confident of a lower staff turnover. According to the IIP survey, the top five reasons why people leave their employer are:

#1 Pay

Ensuring your employees are paid the going rate or equal to (ideally more than) your competitor is essential as this will be a key determining factor in that employee’s decision-making process. More than half (51%) of job seekers say that money is their main reason for switching jobs, while 47% state that even a slight pay rise would increase their levels of happiness at work – two major contributors to staff retention.

#2 Management

There is an old adage that says people leave companies because of their manager. These latest findings certainly support that theory, with 42% of respondents to the IIP survey stating that having a bad boss was their primary reason for leaving their job. There are a number of traits that constitute a ‘bad boss’, including having a negative attitude, ignoring the concerns of their team or even taking credit for others’ work.

#3 Being valued

Not feeling valued in the work place is why over a third of people choose to find another job in the same sector. Employers need to remember that a quick ‘thank you’ or a ‘good job’ goes a long way. Some Employers are too quick to crack the whip when something negative happens, but never enough praise is given and this can be perceived – rightly or wrongly - as under-valuing staff.

#4 Career progression

One-third (33%) of UK employees said they wanted to leave their job due to a lack of opportunity for career progression. This is a simple opportunity to sit down with each employee and discuss a yearly, or six-monthly career plan with them. Goals and aims within the workplace are said to be strong motivators, so no career progression means your employees are working aimlessly for you.   

#5 Working hours

Poor working hours and not being flexible within the workplace came in as the fifth reason why people look to change careers. Understandably there are rules that all companies need to follow and at the end of the day, business must go on. But a flexible approach to work does go a long way in the office.

There is a disconnect between the number of Employers who say they offer their people flexible working options and those who actually do despite research showing that organisations with flexible workforces are 30% more productive than those which don’t. From allowing workers to leave early for doctor appointments, to allowing them to take unpaid holiday days, to letting them choose their working hours (within reason) creates a better work-life balance for the employee; thereby, enabling you to retain top talent.  

If you are planning your career move in 2018, or are looking to fill a role within your industry, get in touch with the team today. We take the time to really understand what you want in your next employee, and match you to the candidates that are right for you.  We’re here to help.    

Kate Allen

Kate Allen

Kate founded Allen Associates in 1998 out of a determination to build a recruitment business which delivered a bespoke service centred on the needs of clients and candidates.

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