HR · 25 September 2017

Unsettled UK employees more open to job offers than any European workforce

British employees were more likely to accept new job offers than any European counterparts
British employees were more likely to accept improved job offers than any European counterparts

A minor salary increase would be enough to tempt 70 per cent of UK employees into a new role, as new research suggests Brits are less likely to feel a sense of loyalty to their workplace than anywhere else in Europe.

The “Evolution of Work” study, undertaken by the research arm of cloud software provider ADP, found that only 60 per cent of European workers would consider leaving their current job, with a number of different workplace experiences going some way to explain the findings.

A lack of purpose or self-worth in the workplace was the greatest indicator of UK employees’ openness for a new role. Almost two-thirds of workers said they did not feel valued at work, compared to just 44 per cent of Germany’s workforce, while over half said they did not feel purposeful in their position.

With the vast majority open to improved job offers, a quarter were actively seeking a new position, with almost half passively looking.

Worryingly for employers, a ten per cent increase in salary would be enough to tempt the average UK employee into a new role – lower than the 12 per cent registered for the rest of the continent.

Meanwhile, just 48 per cent said they felt loyalty to their employer, compared to the 58 per cent European average.

Placed alongside the perception of employers, the study uncovered a disconnect between staff and those in charge. With a majority of workers in Britain struggling to draw value from their role, 56 per cent of bosses believed their employees felt appreciated,

Commenting on the findings, Jeff Phipps, ADP UK managing director, suggested that Britain’s record employment figures had emboldened workers to feel greater control over their working life, as the labour market becomes more competitive for employers.

“The results of this report, whilst alarming, are a positive indication of a buoyant job market,” Phipps said.

“However, it does mean that employers have to work twice as hard to ensure they are retaining the best talent. Organisations must look internally to make sure they are doing everything within their power to make their workforce feel valued and purposeful, and in turn more likely to stay.

Ahu Yildirmaz, co-head of the ADP Research Institute, said while pay and working hours were important aspects of employee retention, meeting expectations was also key for bosses.

“Employees say they are more likely to stay with a company if their experiences are aligned with the expectations agreed to when hired – and if they understand how their role helps to achieve business goals. But when a position shifts away from that understanding, employees are already thinking of leaving.”

Read on to find out how smaller employers can attract graduates from around the country with job offers

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Praseeda Nair is the editorial director of Business Advice, and its sister publication for growing businesses, Real Business. She's an impassioned advocate for women in leadership, and likes to profile business owners, advisors and experts in the field of entrepreneurship and management.