Employees are in it for the long haul with average of 4.5 years in a job, finds new research

With the UK facing an almost unprecedented skills shortage, employers are bracing themselves for higher staff turnover, as their employees are given the bargaining power to move on more quickly to their next role. Yet new research from global recruiters, BPS World, suggests employees are far more loyal than businesses expect.


The survey of 1000+ employees (details below), working both part time and full time, found that staff usually stay with one employer for an average of 4.5 years, and a third say they usually stay in one role for more than 6 years.

BPS World also asked respondents about the longest time they’ve spent with one employer to date, and found that almost half (45%) have worked for one company for ten years or more at a certain point in their career. 43% also said they’d consider staying with their ‘dream’ employer for life.


Simon Conington, MD of BPS World, said of the findings:


“Employers will be reassured to see that for the most part, employees are not jumping from job to job in a matter of months as some headlines would suggest. Whilst this is encouraging, it’s important that businesses don’t become complacent; employers that consider employee engagement to be low priority will without doubt lose talented staff.”


When asked why they stayed put in their longest serving role, employees ranked enjoyment of their job as the number one reason (47%), followed by being treated well and respected by their employer (38%) and being well paid (30%). Employers were asked why they believed their longest standing team members stayed with them, and whilst they were aligned in believing that enjoyment of the job is the biggest driver for staying put, they believed that that progression prospects rank highly; with almost a third (31%) ranking this as a top retention driver. In contrast, just 13% of employees surveyed said progression prospects were the reason why they stayed in their longest serving role.


There were other disparities between employers and their staff, with 20% of employers believing that pride in working for the company is the top reason for their employees staying in role, whereas just 11% of the employees themselves rated that as the biggest driver for them remaining in post.

Simon Conington concluded;



“A certain amount of staff turnover is of course healthy for a business, but losing a highly skilled team member presents obvious challenges. Employers are rightly appreciating that their staff need to enjoy what they do if they’re going to hang onto them, but there is a slight mismatch in what else they believe is important to their teams, versus what actually retains a talented staff member. It’s vital that they don’t rely on assumptions, and encourage transparency and open conversations with their employees to foster a culture of loyalty and engagement within their business.”


BPS also asked employees how long they intend to stay with their current employer; over a quarter said more than five years, with the average being 3.2 years.

Author: Kate Thomas

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