Firms continue to underestimate employee turnover threat, study claims

employee turnoverA new study from communications agency Zeno Group claims that businesses continue to underestimate the chances of an increase in employee turnover as a result of changing attitudes towards work. According to the survey, while companies often focus on addressing their disengaged or disgruntled groups, the study finds that 58 percent of satisfied employees in the UK now report being open to new opportunities, with many actively searching. In addition, those surveyed report their employers do not recognize this reality, with just 20 percent of respondents saying their employers think many workers are looking for new roles elsewhere.

Zeno’s study A New Mindset at Work: The Evolving Workplace in 2021 surveyed more than 4,000 workers in four markets – the U.K., U.S., France, and China – to explore the changing relationship between employees and employers. The study considered employees’ expectations for the return to the office, their attitudes toward workplace mobility, and the importance of factors such as purpose, diversity, advancement and work-life balance through the lens of geographic regions and generations.

The study claims that the global workforce remains optimistic about the future, but one that expects – if not demands – a new working culture on their terms. Despite global challenges and concerns about the return to work, 57 percent of UK employees believe that now is the time for a company to consider making major changes for their workforce.

Beyond hybrid work and flexibility, which are seen as permanent expectations for the new workplace, the study reveals new brand imperatives for companies to minimise employee turnover. Professional growth and career mobility rank high among employees’ expectations, according to the study. Respondents in the UK said interesting work (77 percent), opportunities to grow (71 percent) and the ability to move within the company (62 percent) ranked high among their expectations for workplace loyalty. In all markets, workers were most satisfied with the safety and security they feel on the job; they were most dissatisfied with job growth/opportunities (outside their current employer).

Mental health was high on the agenda for UK employees, with almost half (48 percent) agreed they’ve come to value post-pandemic mental health awareness in the workplace. And while three quarters (76 percent) of U.K. employees want to work from home at least several days a week, they are mindful of the potential for impact on mental and physical health. 46 percent worry that poor mental health, or feeling more stressed or anxious, may come as a result of working remotely and 47 percent are concerned it will lead to poor physical health.

The study also claims that employees’ values are shifting and how these changes shape their views on the workplace. Out of 37 values, “protecting the family” (75 percent), enjoying life (72 percent) and self-reliance (71 percent) were the top three rising values in the UK. Meanwhile “status” (13 percent), “power” (12 percent) and “success” (11 percent) were the top declining values.

Image by Arek Socha