Weber Shandwick comms research reflects a volatile UK workforce as 39% of employees would leave their jobs tomorrow given the choice
It’s Friday and we’re all waiting for the clock to strike the happiest hour of the week to get out of those doors, but here’s an interesting fact to take with you: almost half of the UK’s workforce wouldn’t return to their desks on Monday, or ever after that, if given the choice.
An employee engagement study titled ‘‘The Science of Ingagement’ by leading global PR agency Weber Shandwick, found that nearly 40% of full-time employees in the UK would change jobs tomorrow if they could. The poor levels of workplace commitment stems primarily from employees feeling unappreciated. According to the research, only 35% of employees feel valued by their employers, and the majority of those surveyed said they were dissatisfied with their jobs overall.
The results were ‘a startling wake-up call for UK employers who are looking to grow a profitable business and retain top talent at a time of economic uncertainty,’ the report’s press release stated.
Interestingly, the low workplace momentum has little to do with age or industries. The results found little variation in engagement across age groups, with 18-25 year-olds marginally more engaged than older employees. Meanwhile, those working in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) were the most engaged, but only slightly ahead from those in financial services, who ranked lowest in the employee engagement score.
Adam Mack, chief strategy officer, Weber Shandwick EMEA said: ‘By delving into the minds of employees to understand what really drives them to be more engaged, we’ve found that people need to feel valued if they are to even start engaging with the brand they work for.’
Based on the results, the agency identified six critical drivers that have the potential to make or break employee engagement. They are:
1. Associations: Employers need to create positive memories among employees and to generate pride.
2. Desire: Employers that offer highly desirable places to work, or desirable products and services, can tap this set of emotions.
3. Enhancement: Employers that educate their employees, inspire them, and prompt them to think differently are employers with high engagement.
4. Integrity: Integrity is about honesty and commitment. Employees who believe their employers keep their promises are among the most engaged.
5. Meaning: Employers that make a meaningful contribution to society or give their employees a personal sense of purpose are employers who trigger the ‘meaning’ driver.
6. Respect: Employers who employees feel are widely respected are more likely to have an engaged workforce.
It will be interesting to hear your take on the study. If you belong to the 40% of UK’s (disengaged) workforce, what would be in your list of factors to make you stick around in the current workplace, until Monday at least?
(The sample size for the research was 1,152 adults (18- to 65-year-olds) who work at least 30 hours a week for an entity other than themselves or their own family, with at least 500 employees.)