January 29, 2020
Following reports that job applications on the first working Monday of the New Year spiked by 89 percent compared to the average Monday in December, many UK businesses may be missing a trick in their efforts to retain staff, new research has suggested. When researchers commissioned by Eko asked 1,000 employees what factors would make them stay in their job for longer, they were ten times more likely to stay put for friendships than for a pay rise. Indeed, only 3 percent of workers cited a pay rise as something that would make them stay with their employer for longer.
The findings mirror those of a recent study from the Institute of Leadership & Management, which found that getting on well with colleagues gives workers greater job satisfaction than having a good salary.
In Eko’s study, millennials valued friendships at work more than other age groups and women placed greater value on these relationships than men. People working for food and drink businesses (including restaurants, bars, hotels and catering) valued friendships at work the most, closely followed by those working in the legal sector, education and retail.
Robert Darling, Eko’s COO, commented: “It’s clear that the friendships people form in the workplace today are instrumental to employers in building happy and committed teams that are more likely to stay put. It’s also important for employers to recognise what people really value today and what makes them feel valued. People want to feel united as part of a team, to feel like they make a difference to those around them and this comes back to the importance of culture.”
Nearly a quarter of workers (24 percent) said more investment in their health and wellbeing would make them reconsider jumping ship.
Flexibility and wellbeing high on employees’ agendas
Survey respondents were asked to choose their top three reasons to stay in their job for longer. Nearly a third of those polled put friendship as their top reason for staying in a job, while the second most popular factor, cited by a quarter of workers, was more flexibility to work remotely. According to the study, employees aged 25-44 value this more than other age groups, with both men and women placing equal value on flexible working.
Nearly a quarter of workers (24 percent) said more investment in their health and wellbeing would make them reconsider jumping ship. Having greater access to learning and development opportunities to support career progression was important for 22 percent of workers, with 29 percent of 16-24 year olds placing this ahead of anything else as a reason to stay in their job. However, part-time workers placed less value on learning than their full-time colleagues.
Darling added: “Perhaps unsurprisingly, spending time with family and enjoying greater flexibility in terms of office-based hours continues to be high up the agenda for most workers, as does their general wellbeing and the opportunity for progression and development. For businesses, there is much more to do in terms of boosting retention, but it would seem that investment in workplace culture is still a number one priority.”