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A third of employees would prefer flexible working over a pay rise

A third (34%) of employees would prefer a more flexible approach to working hours than a 3% pay rise

Investors in People's Job Exodus Trends poll asked respondents to choose between two scenarios – a 3% pay rise in line with recent UK increases, or a different non-remuneration benefit.

As well as those looking for a more flexible working life, nearly a third (28%) said they would rather have a clear career progression route and a quarter (24%) would prefer their employer invested in their training and development more.

Nearly half (48%) of the UK workforce said they will be looking for new jobs in 2016. The most common reason people were unhappy with their current role was poor management (43%), followed by not feeling valued (39%). Unsatisfactory pay was the third most common reason as to why employees were unhappy, cited by 38%.

One in five (19%) employees across the country complained of having a high workload, and nearly a quarter (23%) are concerned by a lack of career progression. Just over a quarter (27%) said they were unhappy with their levels of pay. Career progression was a particular issue for younger workers with more than a quarter (26%) of 18- to 24-year-olds saying they felt they have no clear career progression in their current role.

Head of Investors in People Paul Devoy said that improved salaries over recent months mean that pay has become less of a gripe for UK employees.

“But longstanding issues around poor management and how valued people feel at work continue to make UK workers miserable,” he added. “We know that bad leadership alone costs the UK £39 billion 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.”

Devoy said that small things can make a big difference. “Feeling valued, understanding their role in the organisation, and how they can grow with the business are all big concerns for UK workers,” he said. “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. Employers also win, with a more committed workforce, higher retention and a clearer view of the future.”