Millions plan to quit jobs in search for better pay

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More than 6.5 million people plan to quit their jobs within the next year as they search for better pay and benefits and an improved work/life balance.

Worsening staff shortages have forced companies to pay staff more, as well as to offer improved training and other incentives in the battle for talent.

About 20 per cent of workers said it was likely they would leave their role in the next 12 months, according to a survey of more than 6,000 British workers by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, up from 16 per cent last year.

While 35 per cent of workers surveyed as part of CIPD’s good work index cited better pay and benefits as the chief reason for searching for a new job, 27 per cent wanted better job satisfaction and roughly the same proportion wanted a better work/life balance. The index measures job quality across seven factors, including pay and benefits, relationships and work and health and wellbeing.

Melanie Green, research adviser for the institute, said that employers too often focused on improving pay alone when trying to retain workers, but added wage increases should not be treated as a “silver bullet”.

“All jobs have the potential to be better and we should aspire to make good work a reality for everyone in the workforce,” she said. “This means going beyond pay to think about how people’s roles are designed, how flexible their role can be — in location or hours — supporting good health and wellbeing, and investing in employee development so they have the means to progress in their career.”

For those on a lower salary, insufficient chances of progression were cited as a key factor for wanting to switch jobs. The research found that a lack of development opportunities was keeping people trapped in low-paid roles, with 25 per cent of those earning up to £20,000 a year saying that their job offered good skill development opportunities, compared with 51 per cent of those earning £60,000 or above. Only a quarter of lower earners said their job offered good career advancement prospects, compared with just over half of those on a higher salary.

Despite increased hybrid working, workers said that the shift had not necessarily ensured a better work/life balance. While those working particularly from home tended to report higher levels of job quality than those who could not work from home for any part of their role, they also appeared to face the biggest difficulties in balancing work and life, including work-life spillover and working longer working hours than they would prefer.