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A job for life is history

Six in ten workers in Ireland will leave their current employer in the next 10 years, and three in ten don’t see themselves with the same company in five years’ time. This is according to the findings of a new survey from Lockton People Solutions[1], which revealed that for Irish workers, a job-for-life is very much a dated concept, with employees regularly reassessing their career trajectories and most open to pursuing new opportunities with different employers.

Six in ten workers in Ireland will leave their current employer in the next 10 years, and three in ten don’t see themselves with the same company in five years’ time.

This is according to the findings of a new survey* which revealed that for Irish workers, a job-for-life is very much a dated concept, with employees regularly reassessing their career trajectories and most open to pursuing new opportunities with different employers.

Notable highlights include:

  • The biggest cohort of workers (28pc) believe they’ll be with their employer for only the next five years before thinking of moving on.
  • One in five said they expect to be with their current employer in 10 years times, and a further 83pc said they will not be there in 20 years.
  • Female workers in Ireland currently appear to be more open to being “lifers” when it comes to work – more than two in ten women (22pc) compared to just over one in ten men said they could see themselves being with the same employer for the next 20 years.
  • Public sector workers are more likely than other sectors to say they’d be with their current employer for 10 years (27pc) or even 20 years (28pc) from now – those in hospitality and property and construction were the least likely groups to see themselves being with the same employer in the long term.

This research provides a really important insight for employers into what their workforce is thinking in terms of tenure. The notion of long-term commitment between employees and their current employers had undergone significant transformation. With near full employment in the country, attracting employees has become a challenge in many industries, which makes staff retention increasingly important.

What the Lockton Employee Outlook Survey shows is that the workers are readily open to making a change when it comes to work, viewing job changes as opportunities for growth and new experiences.

When we drilled into the data, it would seem that small and medium-sized organisations are more likely than multi-nationals to have a higher level of staff turnover in the next five years – approximately 38pc of workers in these organisations said they could only see themselves with the same company for one or two years, compared just 28pc of workers in very large organisations. With life expectancy in Ireland expected to increase to almost 90 years by 2050, and portfolio careers becoming more mainstream, employee benefits need to change in response.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the sector or industry someone works in also has a bearing on how long they intend to stay with their employer – for example, hospitality and construction workers were those most likely to leave their employer in less than five years from now, while, excluding the public sector, Pharma and Agriculture are the sectors in which employees are more likely to stay for more than 10 years.

There can be a variety of factors impacting the decision to leave one’s employment. It could be poor work-life balance, lack of career progression opportunities, or limited flexible working arrangements. It’s important that employers accurately capture the main drivers behind staff retention issues to help mitigate risk. And it’s also beneficial to understand why employees choose to stay in an organisation – that can be a valuable data source. Indeed, the world of work has changed significantly, and organisations need to keep pace with the fast-evolving needs and lifestyle choices of their employees.

This shift in landscape places the onus on employers to craft compelling value propositions that not only entice top talent to join their company but also foster an environment that encourages this talent to stay. Organisations today must not only offer competitive salaries, but also cultivate a dynamic workplace culture that promotes skill development, recognition of achievements, and work-life balance. Moreover, the implementation of an employee benefits package that resonates with employees on a personal level is a key facet of the employee value proposition. From flexible working arrangements and mental health supports to professional development opportunities, bespoke offerings tailored to their requirements and lifestyle choices demonstrate the company’s commitment to its employees’ well-being and growth. Any benefits redesign also offers the opportunity for companies to assess their programmes in light of their ESG (Environmental and Social Governance) and DE&I (Diversity, Equality and Inclusion) goals and to amend accordingly. Companies that create authentic employee-centric propositions will undoubtedly stand as magnets for top talent and be better positioned to retain their valuable workforce in the long term.

*Survey conducted by Lockton People Solutions,

Conducted by IReach on over 700 workers across the country

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