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New year spurs workers to leave

A third (34%) of workers are likely to change job this year, citing poor relationships with managers and lack of progression

The research by the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) surveyed 1,385 ILM members about their plans and aspirations for the new year. It found that for three-quarters (74%) a new year makes them feel they can achieve more in their careers.

The top reason for wanting to change jobs was to gain a promotion (45%), followed by feeling undervalued by their manager (29%), needing a change (28%), and making no progress (27%).

ILM warned that businesses aren’t doing enough to promote, develop or stretch existing talent. Thirty per cent of workers aged 41 to 50 feel there’s no opportunity for training and development in their current role, while a third (36%) of this age group say they wouldn’t leave their job if their work was more challenging.

Poor relationships with management was another common factor affecting the decision to stay or move on. While more than a quarter (29%) of all respondents said they felt undervalued by their managers, workers in the 41 to 50 age group were the most unhappy, with 42% stating they’re likely to leave due to not getting on with their boss.

Kate Cooper, head of research, policy and standards at the ILM, said that the research demonstrates the high number of dissatisfied workers in the UK.

“Our research reveals how many workers feel underappreciated and have more to give in their current roles. This dissatisfaction leads to many looking for new jobs and businesses missing out on talent they have already invested in, which is costly to replace,” she said.

“Many workers in their forties not only report poor relationships with their managers, but with retirement still a long way off they’re also dissatisfied with the opportunities for training and development.”

When respondents were asked about factors that would stop them leaving, mentoring was found to be important, particularly to men; 48% said they wouldn’t leave their job if they had a mentor.

Flexible working was another key factor affecting staff retention. Women and older workers were most interested to change to full- or part-time work (66% and 43% respectively), while a third (33%) of workers aged 31 to 40 said they’re looking for more flexible working arrangements.