The workers plan to quit their jobs this year. Employers must bring about change, and quickly

young employee pensively starting out the quiet office window next to a desk

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Almost one in five UK workers plan to quit their jobs in the next 12 months in a bid to get better pay, more fulfillment and greater flexibility in the way they work, according to new data from the consultant PwC.

PwC’s survey of over 2,000 UK workers found that 18% are ‘likely’ or ‘extremely likely’ to change jobs in the next 12 months, while a third (32%) are “moderately” or “slightly likely” to change. .

The professional services firm warned that the growing polarization between what employees want and what their bosses are prepared to deliver means more workers are willing to ‘assert their power’ and ‘vote with their feet’ if their expectations are not satisfied.

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Younger workers feel particularly dissatisfied with their current employer and are more likely to consider moving within the next 12 months.

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Kevin Ellis, chairman and senior partner of PwC UK, said employees had new expectations for work and warned employers not to become “complacent” in the face of growing demand for highly skilled professionals.

“Employees will vote with their feet if their expectations for company culture, reward, flexibility and learning aren’t largely met,” Ellis said.

PwC found that 27% of UK workers plan to ask for a raise in the next 12 months, with employees in the tech sector being the most likely to ask for a raise.

While a pay rise is the main motivation for changing jobs (72%), employees are also looking for a more fulfilling job (68%) and want to be able to choose where they work (46%).

Demand for remote and hybrid working remains high and more than half (52%) of UK workers say their work can be done from home, PwC found. Two-thirds (66%) of respondents currently work remotely most or all of the time, with 62% citing hybrid working as their preferred way of working in the future.

Employee expectations have undergone significant shifts over the past two years, largely due to the realization that remote working is both possible and preferable for many white-collar workers.

While some companies have embraced remote and hybrid working, others have asked employees to return to their desks as pandemic restrictions come to an end.

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But PwC said its survey “paints a picture of a polarized workforce on a number of dimensions”, with people in senior positions scoring far higher on job satisfaction than those below. them: 51% of respondents in management positions said they were “very satisfied”. , compared to 19% of those who are not in management positions.

Workers with specialized skills are also more likely to have a higher sense of job satisfaction, with PwC citing this as “one of the main drivers of polarization”. Workers with in-demand skills are more likely to be paid more, have more influence in their jobs, and have more flexibility in how and where they perform their jobs.

Sarah Moore, head of people and organization and head of purpose at PwC UK, said the expectations of workers and their bosses were “no longer aligned” and meeting changing job expectations would prove essential both to attract new talent and to maintain the engagement of current employees. .

“While polarization between groups at work is not new, the magnitude we are seeing now and the consequence of mass resignations is,” Moore added. “This polarization felt on the ground risks fueling dissatisfaction, disengagement and increasing employee turnover.”

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