Almost one in five employees globally say they are likely to switch to a new employer in the next 12 months, according to research that suggests the so-called ‘great resignation’ is showing no signs of abating.
Eighteen per cent of workers who responded to a PwC survey said they were very or extremely likely to switch to a new employer within the next year, with a further 32% stating they were moderately likely to switch. One in six (16%) expected to leave the workforce temporarily or permanently.
PwC’s Workforce hopes and fears survey involved more than 52,000 workers across 44 countries, including 2,000 people in the UK.
UK workers were less likely to ask for a pay increase in the next 12 months (27% compared with 35% globally), despite the escalating cost of living.
An increase in pay is the main motivator for changing jobs (72%), followed by wanting a fulfilling job (68%) and wanting to truly be themselves at work (63%).
Job satisfaction was low among UK workers who were not in management positions, with only one in five people (19%) stating they were very satisfied with their role. This is compared with 51% of respondents in top leadership positions.
Those with in-demand skills were more likely to feel satisfied with their job (67% compared with 52% who felt they did not have sought-after skills), listened to by their managers (62% versus 35%) and have money left over after they pay their bills (58% versus 47%).
Younger employees were less likely to feel satisfied, with only half of Gen Z workers (agd 18-25) feeling happy with their role compared with 61% of baby boomers (aged 58 and over).
Kevin Ellis, chairman and senior partner at PwC UK, said: “The economic outlook may be uncertain but it would be premature to call the end of the great resignation. Highly skilled workers are in hot demand and employers can’t be complacent.
“It’s not just about keeping the most talented workers happy – our data highlights the need and opportunity to create new talent and ensure no one gets left behind.
“Employees will vote with their feet if their expectations on company culture, reward, flexibility and learning are not being largely met.”
The internal measures employers had taken to address skills and labour shortages included upskilling workers (40%), increasing pay (33%) and supporting workers with their physical and mental wellbeing (29%). External measures included widening recruitment to include more diverse workers (25%), recruiting workers who were less qualified or experienced (24%) and outsourcing work (20%).
Employees also wanted more choice over where they work (46%). Hybrid working came out as the preferred way of working, with 62% of respondents stating they wanted to split their time between home and the office.
Fifty-two per cent of UK respondents said their work could be done from home. Two-thirds of UK workers are currently working from home all or most of the time, compared with just over half of respondents globally.
Survey results published by the Office for National Statistics this week showed that more than eight in 10 workers who had to work from home during the pandemic planned to work in a hybrid way.
Sarah Moore, people and organisation leader and head of purpose at PwC UK, said that temporary solutions to business problems, such as hybrid working, had turned into employee expectations.
Our workplace survey shows employer and employee expectations of work life, reward and progression are no longer aligned and the job package on offer is being questioned by employees as they weigh options and what matters to them.” – Sarah Moore, PwC UK
“Our workplace survey shows employer and employee expectations of work life, reward and progression are no longer aligned and the job package on offer is being questioned by employees as they weigh options and what matters to them. Realignment on these matters between employers and employees will be critical to bring stability back into the economy,” she said.
“Business leaders need to keep an eye on how their decisions are contributing to creating winners and losers among their workforce and wider society.
“While polarisation between groups at work is not new, the scale we are now seeing and the consequence of mass resignations is. This polarisation being felt on the ground risks fueling dissatisfaction, disengagement and amplifying employee churn.”
A separate survey by digital accountancy platform LemonEdge has found that 31% of employees in financial services planned to leave the sector because they felt they were under too much pressure.
A third of financial services and banking professionals said feelings of burnout had increased due to changes in work environment since the pandemic, and home or hybrid working.
LemonEdge CEO Gareth Hewitt said: “An exodus of industry professionals is a sure sign that levels of burnout have reached an unacceptable scale. Any experience of burnout is serious and with thousands of employees planning to leave the industry as a direct result of high pressure, it should be a clear warning to firms before they risk losing valuable talent.”