Tuesday, June 18, 2019
Download the 2019 UK Workforce Fear & Mobility: When Opportunity Knocks white paper for your complete proprietary survey findings.
Brexit’s economic and political turmoil – and unpredictability – means UK workers are keen to hold onto their current jobs, right? After all, maintaining compensation and job security in an uncertain environment is a natural instinct. Or is it?
Workforce Logiq recently conducted proprietary research to see just how mobile UK workers are given the uncertainty of Brexit’s impact. Our finding: While UK workers may be highly pessimistic about the economy, they are also highly mobile and actively pursuing new employment opportunities. Job security doesn’t appear to be highly valued in a very insecure work environment.
In fact, the vast majority – or 75 percent of all UK workers surveyed think the economy is going to get worse, meaning fewer job opportunities and potentially more layoffs and redundancies. Still, 52 percent are actively looking for new roles and another 56 percent see themselves changing jobs in the next year.
The takeaway for UK employers: Solid retention strategies and communicating confidence in business performance will be key to keeping talent – and minimizing disruption in a highly competitive recruiting market.
Employee Mobility: UK vs. U.S.
While our proprietary research also found workers in the U.S. have similar fears and anxiety over an expected economic slide, unlike their UK counterparts, they’re seeking stability by staying put in their roles. 67 percent of U.S. workers said they had no plans to change their employment status in the next 12-18 months; 72 percent said they aren’t likely to switch in the next year. Perhaps UK workers are looking for a safer place to land – and anticipating job insecurity given Brexit. Better to act now than to wait for an uncertain outcome. Job security for the UK worker therefore may entail finding a position in which they’re less apt to get laid off. For the U.S. employee, there seems to be less urgency to jump ship, likely due to a fear of being last in, first out.
Interestingly, surveyed U.S. workers positioned compensation levels as a key driver to stay – or leave a position, while UK employees favored flexibility and work/life balance.
Minimizing UK retention issues
Since flexibility is so important to the UK workforce, there’s a good chance that candidates won’t even consider working for a company that doesn’t value work/life balance as much as they do. For businesses that operate more traditionally, shifting to a more flexible work environment and showing employee preferences are valued will be critical for retaining the workforce. Organizations that currently have a flexible culture should be encouraged because it will be harder for employees to leave, but these firms aren’t in the clear. Amidst the uncertain economic landscape, communicating confidence in business performance becomes incredibly important for quelling worker fears of redundancies, given employees are naturally nervous about their jobs.
Beyond retention, the other major challenge UK employers are currently facing is in hiring, since unemployment is at 3.8% — the lowest since 1974, making it an incredibly tight market. To win and retain the best talent, UK firms need to:
Prioritizing retention and strategically approaching the hiring process are key for UK firms to continue to grow. For more on how to approach workforce management in the UK market, check out our proprietary research – we cover what’s driving employee mobility, demand for contingent labor, and more.
For complete survey results, download our white paper, UK Workforce Fear & Mobility: When Opportunity Knocks. For additional Workforce Logiq UK Employee Fear & Mobility Index Study insights view our infographic.