Half of UK workers considering moving jobs in 2020

Accreditation body warns of ‘recruitment crisis’ caused by disillusioned employees

More than half of UK workers are considering finding a new job in the next year, a survey has found.

The poll of 2,000 employees, commissioned annually by accreditation body Investors in People (IIP), found nearly a quarter (24 per cent) of respondents had already started actively job hunting, with a further 32 per cent considering changing roles in 2020 but not yet looking.

The total number of respondents either searching or thinking about searching for a new job increased by 8 per cent compared to the same point in the year in 2019.

IIP also raised concerns about increased levels of disillusionment in the workplace, and warned that employers faced a “new year recruitment crisis”.

It found nearly a quarter (23 per cent) of workers were unhappy with their current role, up 10 per cent on last year, and nearly two-thirds (65 per cent) suffered from ‘Sunday night blues’, dreading going back to work after the weekend.

Respondents were found to be most dissatisfied with pay levels, with 28 per cent citing this, and 29 per cent of those considering finding a new job saying they believed they could get more money elsewhere. This was followed by not feeling valued (cited by 23 per cent) and a lack of career progression (18 per cent).

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Paul Devoy, CEO of IIP, said one of the easiest things employers could do to improve retention is show more appreciation of employees. “Six years into our job exodus research, we’re still hearing that people want to be told ‘thank you’,” he said. “[It’s] something so simple, so consistently important and potentially the best retention tool we’ve got.”

The survey also raised concerns over the levels of stress faced by workers. Three-quarters (76 per cent) reported feeling stressed at work in the last six months, increasing to 80 per cent for women. More than six in 10 (64 per cent) said their sleep had been affected, and the same number complained about being ‘always on duty’.

Workplaces being friendly was also considered important by respondents. More than half (54 per cent) said having a friend at work was important to them, while 25 per cent admitted to staying in a job because of a friendship rather than because they enjoyed the work. 

Similarly, 47 per cent of respondents said they would rather have a friendly workplace than a 3 per cent pay rise.