Majority of workers consider quitting when colleagues resign, research finds

Companies advised to steer clear of ‘blunt tool’ pay rises to improve retention rates and instead focus on line manager support

Credit: Chalirmpoj Pimpisarn/EyeEm/Getty Images

Seven in 10 workers have admitted that seeing colleagues resign makes them consider quitting themselves, according to new research.

A study by Adecco, which polled 34,200 workers across 25 countries in April and May as part of its Global Workforce of The Future 2022 report, found that while the majority would only consider quitting, half of the respondents would actually hand in their notice.

When separated by country, the results showed that just under three in 10 (29 per cent) UK employees would consider leaving their current job, while employees from Australia (33 per cent) and Switzerland (32 per cent) were most likely to quit after colleagues departed.

Salary alone not enough to attract talent, CIPD report finds

Inclusion must be more than a buzzword if businesses want to attract and retain top talent

Two-thirds of businesses seeing more requests for pay rises, research finds

Commenting on the findings, Zofia Bajorek, senior research fellow at the Institute for Employment Studies, said it “serves to remind employers that now really is the time for line managers to consult with their staff about what organisations could be doing to ensure that work has meaning for them”.

“Proper line management support and the provision of good work will become key to retaining staff over these next few uncertain months,” said Bajorek.

The research suggested that the cost of living crisis and inflation had a part to play, as this was identified as a major concern among workers. Indeed, three in five (61 per cent) feared their salary would not cover the rising costs. 

Get more HR and employment law news like this delivered straight to your inbox every day – sign up to People Management’s PM Daily newsletter

Despite the economic uncertainty, a large share of workers felt they had power in the jobs market, as three in five (61 per cent) were confident they would be able to find a new job in six months or less.

Additionally, of the 27 per cent of workers who were planning to quit their job in the next 12 months, almost half (45 per cent) were already actively looking for a new role.

Proposing ways for employers to manage retention, Gemma Bullivant, HR coach and consultant, advised that promoting your organisation’s USP was key to luring returning employees back into the fold. “[Consider] what makes you stand out as an organisation, why people choose to join and stay, what you are doing right, and how you can leverage that to be even stronger,” said Bullivant, adding that it was crucial for businesses to remind leavers that the door is always open.

“People who return after having left are often the strongest advocates for how green the grass truly is on both sides of the fence.”

Valerie Beaulieu-James, Adecco group’s chief sales and marketing officer, emphasised that, to prevent workers feeling the temptation to quit, companies must steer away from simply relying on the “blunt tool of salary rises alone” and “put a strong work-life balance front and centre, as this will make a difference for those workers who are on the fence between staying and leaving”.