New year marks start of employee exodus

A quarter of workers in the engineering and manufacturing sectors are unhappy in their current role with many seeking new positions at the start of 2016.

These are findings from research conducted by Investors in People, which found nearly half of the those in the engineering and manufacturing sectors looking for new jobs in 2016 and 19% already actively job hunting.

The findings are highlighted in Job Exodus Trends 2016, which shows over a fifth of engineering and manufacturing sector workers complaining about the lack of career progression (21%), a similar number (22%) saying they don’t feel valued as a member of staff, and 23% expressing dissatisfaction with their level of pay.

The survey of 2,000 employed individuals asked respondents to choose between two scenarios: a 3% pay rise, in line with recent UK increases, or a different non-remuneration benefit.

Over a third (36%) said they would prefer a more flexible approach to working hours than a 3% pay rise; 32% said they would rather have a clear career progression route; and 29% would rather their employer invested more in their training and development.

Paul Devoy, head of Investors in People said: “Improved salaries over recent months means that pay is less of a gripe for UK workers. But longstanding issues around poor management and how valued people feel in their work continue to make UK workers miserable.

“We know that bad leadership alone costs the UK £39bn a year. If employers addressed these factors, they would have a more committed workforce and far fewer resources tied up in constant recruitment drives.

“As the economy improves, many employers run the risk of losing their valuable, skilled staff.”

A quarter of employees in the manufacturing and engineering sectors say they are quite or extremely unhappy in their jobs. When asked what their employer could do to increase their happiness in their current role, 11% said they wanted more clarity on what their career progression options are, and 9% expressed a desire to simply receive thanks for the work they’ve done.

“Small things can make a big difference,” said Devoy. “Feeling valued, understanding their role in the organisation and how they can grow with an organisation are all big concerns for UK workers.  Saying thank you, involving employees in decisions and giving them responsibility over their work are basic ways to make staff happier, and more likely to stay.”

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