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New Year, New Job: Nearly 2 out of 5 UK workers on the job hunt, Unum finds

15th January 2019

It’s the time of year when many Britons resolve to improve their health and well-being, like eating better, exercising more, or saving money. They may also resolve to look for a new job.

  • Nearly a quarter of workers (24 percent) often think about quitting.
  • 43 percent of workers will probably look for a new job, and nearly 2 out of 5 workers (38 percent) are very likely to look for a new job.
  • Only 14 percent of workers feel strongly they would be happy staying with their current employers for the rest of their careers.

Employee benefit specialist Unum found nearly a quarter of workers (24 percent) admit they often think about quitting, and 43 percent of workers say they will probably look for a new job in the next year. Gen Zers (61 percent) and Millennials (55 percent) report having the highest probability of looking for new jobs within the year.

Data from the world’s largest job search websites shows job searches ramp up in January, so employers of all sizes should make the most of this month by evaluating the effectiveness of their current benefits plans and reminding workers what’s on offer.

Liz Walker, HR Director at Unum UK, said:

"Unum research shows that poor benefits communication costs UK employers £2.7 billion in employee turnover per year. This is far too high, especially for employers who are actively investing in the health and well-being of their employees through benefits and resources.

"Sharing details about the employee benefits you offer can increase the perceived value of your employee benefits at little or no extra cost, improve employee satisfaction levels, and provide an invaluable tool for staff retention. Understanding and future-proofing your benefits plan against societal shifts and changing attitudes within your workforce is also critical to staying relevant in the war for talent."

Here are five tips from Walker for communicating benefits to your workforce this January:

  1. Understand how the workforce is changing.
    Major societal trends will have a significant impact on the UK business and the needs and expectations of the workforce. UK businesses need to think ahead to ensure they retain talent within this new landscape – be it through integration of new workplace technologies, clearly laying out their sustainability credentials or increasing role-sharing to enable greater flexibility. Unum’s 2018 Future Workforce Report shared four new emerging breeds of workers – all with unique motivators. For more information on the findings and how the employers can adapt to the changing needs of the future workforce, please find the full report here:
  2. Take the pulse of your workplace culture.
    Survey employees’ knowledge, use, understanding and demand for benefits and workplace perks you offer. Seek to gauge stress levels, understanding of benefits, and relationships with line managers. Understand how different benefits and perks are being used, and ensure any dialogue is two-way, and feedback provided is acted upon. This will help you identify strengths and opportunities for improving your workplace culture.
  3. Go back to basics.
    Measure the success of communications undertaken so far and what impact it had on the employee. Examine engagement as a whole and see where benefits communication fits in. It’s not a once and done exercise, so think about how you can talk about your benefits on a regular basis, so they are kept front and centre to employees.
  4. Don’t overlook valuable services.
    Ensure you’re getting a solid return on your investment into benefits by not overlooking valuable services, like employee assistance programmes or rehabilitation support that come along with many employee benefits which offer financial protection. Promote them by signposting to resources and sharing success stories of those who have used them so others can recognise the value of them and explore their own use of them.
  5. Create a building block for your internal communications strategy.
    Communicating often about benefits sets a framework for steady internal communications, so take advantage of the tactics and strategies that are most successful when communicating with your staff. Apply this outside of just the world of benefits to company news and volunteer opportunities to keep employees informed and engaged.


Notes to editors:

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The Future Laboratory also conducted an online survey of UK employees to quantify their awareness, involvement and future interest relating to trends in this report, and the likelihood that they would remain with an employer who adopted these trends. It also investigated the key drivers for trend adoption as well as assessing what factors that can lead employees to leave companies.

The online survey was completed by 3,000 workers in:

  • Media, advertising, marketing and PR
  • Engineering and automotive • Goods, services, hospitality and recreation
  • Labour, agriculture and farming
  • Finance and law
  • IT and telecommunications
  • Medical

Some 97% of respondents work full or part-time in companies with up to 5,000 employees, with 3% defining themselves as self-employed. The survey was carried out by Opinium Research in March 2018.