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21% of employees will be looking for a new job in 2016 in search of better pay and career progression

One in five (21%) workers returning to the office after the festive break are planning to change jobs in 2016, according to new research by Penna Plc. The research suggests that this is an imminent issue for UK employers as, on average, potential deflectors have been considering a job change for nearly 11 months and may now be ready to act.


The most popular reasons for wanting to find a new employer are to secure better pay and benefits (48%), closely followed by the promise of greater development opportunities (44%). A third (32%) of respondents are simply looking to change what they are currently doing at work.


The survey of 1,000 full-time employees revealed that those aged 18 to 24 were most likely to be planning a career move this year, with nearly a third (32%) looking to do so. While a quarter (25%) of 25 to 34 year olds will also be job hunting in the near future.


Bev White, managing director of Penna Career Services, said, “We all know that the end of the year sees a spike in the number of individuals looking to take charge of their careers. Worryingly, it would appear that potentially many employees have been disengaged for over 11 months. Employers have the power to re-engage disenchanted workers and there is no better time to trigger important changes than at the start of a new year when thoughts generally turn to themes of refresh and renewal. While offering better pay and benefits may be out of the hands of some employers, a lot of the things on employees’ wish lists such as better work/life balance, greater recognition and development opportunities don’t cost anything.


“Effective people management is critical in terms of breeding a positive working culture, increasing engagement, productivity and retaining talent, which ultimately boosts organisational performance. Our research shows that career development is particularly important to workers and one of the most impactful steps that companies can take is to make sure managers are holding regular career conversations with direct reports to identify personal goals and challenges. Such discussions create more agile employees and empower them to better contribute to company success. They also open up opportunities for redeployment, where individuals are uninspired by their current role but remain committed to the organisation.”


Small- or medium-sized companies will be winning the war for talent in 2016, with nearly a quarter (22%) of those looking to move on this year selecting this type of organisation as their employer of choice.


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