Guest Blog by Aliya Vigor-Robertson,Founder, JourneyHR
The start of a new year often brings new beginnings and for many of the UK’s workforce, that includes jobs. Research by Arden revealed that nearly half (46%) of the UK’s working population is likely to re-evaluate their career at the beginning of the year.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, salary wascited as the top reason to look elsewhere (34%), but the findings uncovered a number of other drivers too. Over a quarter (26%) blamed a lack of recognition,while nearly a third (30%) blamed stress in the workplace. Many employees simply wanted a more understanding workplace, with 27% admitting they felt unsupported by their current employer.
With the UK continuing to experience a slump in productivity, it has never been more important to create a positive,motivated workforce – not just for the new year, but all year round.
Benefits can go a long way towards boosting employee engagement and job satisfaction. According to Glassdoor, 60%of people said benefits and perks are a major factor in deciding whether to accept a job offer, while an overwhelming 80% of employees would choose additional benefits over a pay rise.
Businesses should evaluate their current package and ask staff for feedback on whether the benefits on offer continue to hold the same attraction. Knowing what’s desirable, particularly among different generations, will put businesses in a much better position to build a package that really works for all staff.
Working in an environment where employees don’t feel encouraged to develop their skills and talents can be demoralising. It’s important that managers regularly check in with staff to understand their needs and give them control over individual tasks and projects suited to their skill set.
On a company-wide level, businesses could also run engagement surveys to understand what’s going on and see what can be changed. It’s also an opportunity to celebrate the good practices that are already in place. In doing so, employees are much more likely to feel motivated and valued.
However, not everyone will have the same idea of what success looks like. While an employee may want to increase their responsibilities or learn new skills, they may not want to go down the traditional route of becoming a manager. Ultimately, the key is to develop a plan for all employees that allows them to fulfill their potential – in whatever form that takes – where they are, rather than elsewhere.
Total jobs found that as many as two in three workers changed jobs due to a lack of learning and development opportunities. So, it’s no surprise that nine out of 10 workers said they would like their employer to make more training courses available.
Not only can a structured L&D programme go a long way towards engaging staff, but it’s also a great way to bridge the skills gap. Technology is moving at a rapid pace and a lot of companies don’t have enough staff with the right skills to navigate the changing landscape. By choosing to up skill staff, rather than source new candidates, companies can retain their current workforce while creating new and exciting growth opportunities for employees.
Encourage work-life balance
Let’s be honest, the desire for change isn’t always driven by what’s happening in the workplace. Employees may have other external demands to juggle, like childcare commitments, and it’s important that businesses recognise these and do what they can to support them.
Arden’s survey showed that employees who were not looking for new opportunities ranked work-life balance as the leading reason, while a separate study found 51% of employees wished their company offered more flexible working options.
From offering wellness programmes to adopting new technology to support flexible working, encouraging staff to strike a healthy work-life balance will ultimately boost employee happiness and motivation across the board.