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UK employees see no reward for working harder

The vast majority of (78%) UK employees are taking on more work without a pay rise or promotion.

In the past six months, UK workers have been working harder and longer without receiving official recognition as they take up missing colleagues’ tasks, according to HR software provider Achievers.


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Natalie Baumgartner, chief workforce scientist at Achievers, told HR magazine that the high level of movement between jobs is leaving employees to pick up tasks as old colleagues leave, or new ones adjust to their role.

She said: “More than half of employees around the globe report they’ve been seriously impacted by labour shortages.

“These challenging working conditions have created a culture of discontent with associated negative outcomes including high turnover and absenteeism increase.”

Almost three quarters (76%) of employees surveyed reported working longer hours than six months ago.

Steve Herbert, head of benefits strategy at Howden Employee Benefits & Wellbeing, told HR magazine that remote working and candidate shortage were behind the rise in working hours.

He said: “One of the issues with remote working is that it blurs the boundaries between working and leisure hours, and employees often find it less easy to switch off come the end of the day.

“And the candidate shortage is resulting in many vacancies going unfilled for up to nine months, leaving colleagues with the unenviable task of covering the vacant position until a suitable candidate is found.”

If this situation continues, Herbert added, employees will quickly burn out.

Kate Palmer, HR advice and consultancy director at HR consultancy Peninsula, told HR magazine that the increasing prevalence of burnout in the workforce is forcing employers to reconsider their approach to work.

She said: “Failure to recognise burnout as a serious issue, and non-provision of effective support tools can lead to high levels of absenteeism, reduced motivation and productivity, increased turnover rates and, ultimately, an inefficient workforce.”

Herbert added: “HR experts can mitigate some of these concerns by instigating and communicating a right to disconnect, and ensuring that support tools such as employee assistance plans and mental health apps are also made available as and when needed.”

Another effective solution for employers, added Palmer, is to conduct ‘stay interviews’.

She said: “These work in a similar way to exit interviews, whereby an employer meets with an employee to understand how satisfied they are with their role, areas they are struggling with or don’t like, areas which could be improved upon and changes which would make them feel better and encourage them to stay with the organisation for prolonged periods.”