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European workers back on the job-hunt merry-go-round

European workers back on the job-hunt merry-go-round

        Irish and British workers most likely in Europe to be looking for a new job by end of 2010 the Dutch and Belgian are staying put
        Companies risk recovery by losing senior staff
Rotterdam, 13 September, 2010 While there are fears of a double-dip recession in countries across Europe, it seems Europeans are starting to get a little stir-crazy, with one third (33%) of workers stating that they plan to start looking for a new job by the end of the year, according to Aon Consulting, the leading employee risk and benefits management firm. While it is unclear if the economic reality will actually allow this to happen, employers should begin reviewing staff retention policies and programmes to ensure their best staff arent the ones who jump ship.
This research is part of the Aon Consulting European Employee Benefits Benchmark, a survey of more than 7,500 workers from across Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, The Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Switzerland and the UK, ten of the leading economies in Europe. The Benchmark focuses on the views of workers across Europe on topics such as retirement, employee benefits and other pension-related issues.
Irish and UK workers are by far the most likely to want to swap jobs (49.4% and 47.4% respectively), with only Norwegian workers (36.4%) displaying anything close to the same desire to change employer. Job satisfaction appears to be highest in Belgium and the Netherlands, with relatively low numbers (17.5% and 17.4% respectively) reporting they would start job-hunting this year.
A large number of departing employees, particularly senior team members, can throw a companys growth plans into disarray. On average, nearly 20% of workers aged 55 to 64 across Europe plan on looking for a new job, taking their industry knowledge and experience with them, even though typically, workers in this age bracket are less likely to move jobs, tending to stay put until retirement. On average, a massive 44% of employees aged 18 to 34 years old are tempted to begin searching for new work, not surprisingly a higher percentage than among their older counterparts, and certainly a large enough percentage to worry employers planning on trading their way out of the recession utilising their high-potential staff.
Countries whose employees state they will begin the search for a new job by the end of 2010 (Percentage of respondents who claimed they would begin job hunting by end of 2010):
Ireland (49.4%)
UK (47.4%)
Norway (36.4%)
Switzerland (34.8%)
Spain (34.6%)
France (32.7%)
Germany (31.9%)
Denmark (30.7%)
Belgium (17.52%)
Netherlands (17.42%)
Peter Abelskamp, executive director of health and benefits for Europe, Middle East and Africa at Aon Consulting commented: As a result of the recession, many employers across Europe have introduced austerity plans in order to lower costs and maintain profitability. Typically, these have included salary freezes, or even cuts, and the value of associated benefits have seen significant reductions. Such policies have tended to be applied uniformly, with little distinction being made between high- and low-performing employees.
Not surprisingly, high-performing employees are starting to feel trapped and, with a glimmer of hope for economic recovery, many such individuals are asking themselves whether better opportunities lie elsewhere. The result is a significant hike in the number of people intending to seek a job with a new employer. Whether these jobs are out there remains to be seen, but the risk of losing key personnel is definitely real. This could seriously undermine an organisations competitive position once the recovery takes hold. Without doubt, if you consider an employee to be valuable, the chances are that your competitors will too. Now is an ideal time to incentivise talented staff by taking a strategic look at their remuneration package. Possibilities include the introduction or redesign of flexible benefits packages which allow employees to tailor their benefits to their own personal needs, or the extension of long term incentive plans, such as pensions, to wider groups of employees, including those with the most attractive stills.

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