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1 in 4 employees say their employer is holding the business back

Nearly three-quarters of bosses claim that their employees do not like change, according to research by People First, part of MHR International. The same research, however, concludes that one in four employees say that their bosses do not like change and are holding the business back.

Surveying the attitudes of 250 bosses and 250 employees from firms across the UK, the research highlights an interesting disconnect between bosses and their staff when asked about the other’s shortcomings.

58% of bosses claimed that their employees were unwilling to upgrade their skills, whereas almost one in three employees highlighted inadequate training as a key shortfall. This level of inconsistency is highlighted frequently throughout the research, demonstrating a gap in understanding that could damage business growth and adversely impact staff morale.

Mark Williams, senior VP product at People First, said, “The way employees and employers perceive each other points to a huge gap in the feedback loop, where employee’s needs aren’t sufficiently being met or even understood. Businesses need to actively and regularly seek feedback from their staff, and that feedback needs to be acted upon.”

The research goes into more detail, pointing out that 53% of bosses think that their staff need constant supervision. However, 31% of staff think their bosses are unresponsive and fail to understand the flexible needs of an agile and modern workforce.

When asked about where their employees fall short, 52% of bosses cited poor productivity as a key problem. While productivity may be low, 37% of staff drew attention to low pay and poor pension plans, and 38% highlighted a lack of employee benefits - both things that could directly boost morale and increase productivity. For example, 90% of employees think perks like breakfasts are important or crucial when it comes to creating a better working environment.

“Employers need to listen more closely to the needs of their staff in order to avoid increased turnover and decreased morale,” Williams added. “Opening up more channels for feedback and introducing better mechanisms for recording and using that feedback, should be high on any business’ list of priorities.”

A friendly and professional workplace was the most popular requirement for those surveyed, with 62% of staff picking it as their number one priority. 56% wanted better rewards for excelling at work, and 54% of staff cited worthwhile perks and benefits as their number one driver. 

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