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Half of UK employees already considering a new job in 2024

New research from shows that more than a third (37%) of UK employees would reconsider a job change if their current employer offered them improved financial benefits and incentives; 17% would reconsider based on confirmed flexible working policies.

While unemployment in the UK has reached record lows, labour shortages are still impacting the job market, driving up wages and giving employees more leverage to prioritise their salaries, benefits, and wellbeing. Within this context, new research* reveals that though 72% of UK employees are satisfied with their current work conditions, half (49%) are likely to actively seek out new job opportunities in 2024.

The intention to search for a new role is particularly prevalent among 18-24-year-olds (63%) and 25-34-year-olds (66%). As many prepare to buy their first homes and start families, both age groups (Generation Z and Millennials, respectively) tend to value financial wellbeing and work-life balance above other generations.

Overall, when asked what current employers might offer to influence UK employees’ decision to change jobs next year, more than a third (37%) of respondents cited improved financial benefits and incentives, followed by confirmed flexible working policies (17%). With the cost-of-living crisis still being felt among UK workers, many are looking for extra income to cover day-to-day spending. And against the backdrop of stressful working environments and an uncertain economic climate, employees are also prioritising their wellbeing by allocating time to family, personal activities, and self-care.

This data is consistent with what UK employees believe should be the top priorities for HR teams over the next 12 months; 44% of respondents have reward and recognition programmes front of mind. Following closely is prioritising employee health and wellbeing (40%) and fixed flexible working policies (38%).

Graham James, Director at Pluxee UK, said: “Employers are under increasing pressure to retain their staff, who are enticed by higher salaries elsewhere. While not every business can afford to offer significant pay rises or bonuses, many organisations can take steps to ease financial stress and help employees manage financial worries.”

He continued: “Research has shown that employees can potentially benefit by up to £1,679 through cashbacks and savings offered by employer-provided schemes. Investing in initiatives like employee assistance programmes and providing access to independent financial advice is essential. These measures not only reduce employees’ stress, but also significantly contribute to attracting, retaining, and engaging skilled talent.”

Research also found that more than half (54%) of UK employees feel there is a gap between their expectations and their organisation’s HR priorities for 2024.

The reasons cited include:

  • Low wages in relation to current cost-of-living
  • Lack of support with financial planning
  • Challenges around work-life balance
  • Need for improved employee wellbeing plans
  • Lack of a tailored approach to benefits

Graham added: “When considering benefit provisions, it’s essential to listen to employee needs. Regularly reviewing and enhancing benefit offerings based on employee feedback is key. Anonymous employee engagement surveys and one-to-one conversations provide valuable insights that help HR teams understand the issues at hand. Beyond pay increases, organisations can support employees by educating them in financial literacy, or offering other benefits like the option to purchase annual leave, which may also align with their needs.”

When planning employee benefits, it is important to have a trusted partner to help HR teams navigate any challenges and create tailored programmes that meet the needs of their employees.

*Research from Pluxee UK.

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