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Lack of appreciation is causing people to leave in droves

Kate Cooper
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More than a third of ambitious workers are dissatisfied in their current jobs, citing poor relationships with their managers and a lack of development opportunities as the reasons they’re planning to seek new jobs, according to The Institute of Leadership & Management’s latest survey. Contributor Kate Cooper, Head of Research, Policy and Standards – The Institute of Leadership & Management.

Around 1,400 members of The Institute of Leadership & Management completed the survey, which asked about their plans and aspirations for the New Year. The survey revealed that 34 per cent are likely to change their job this year. This could be driven by the fact that three quarters (74 per cent) believe the New Year leaves them feeling like they can achieve more in their careers, and because January also inspires self-reflection and a desire for change. In addition, 42 per cent who feel like they can achieve more in their careers are also planning to move on. 

Poor relationships with management was a common theme in the survey’s findings. More than a quarter (29 per cent) said they felt undervalued by their managers and 42 per cent of workers in their 40s stated they’re likely to leave as they don’t get on with their boss. It’s unsurprising therefore that mentoring was identified as an area that would improve staff retention, with 48 per cent of men revealing they wouldn’t leave their job if they had a mentor. 

Businesses aren’t doing enough to promote or develop existing talent, with 30 per cent of workers aged 41-50 admitting they felt there’s no opportunity for training and development in their current role. Likewise, a third of this age group said they wouldn’t leave their job if their work was more challenging (36 per cent). The survey results revealed that women in their 40s are most affected, as they’re the most likely to change jobs. 

The top reason for wanting to change jobs was promotion (45 per cent), followed by feeling undervalued by their manager, needing a change (28 per cent) and making no progress (27 per cent). Flexible working is another key factor that affects workers’ decisions to stay or leave their job. Two thirds of women and 43 per cent of older workers (51-60 years) are most interested to change to full or part-time work, and a third of workers aged 31-40 said they’re looking for more flexible working arrangements. 

Kate Cooper, Head of Research, Policy and Standards at The Institute of Leadership & Management, said: “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. 

“Many workers in their 40s 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. Almost half of men think a mentor could improve their work situation.” 

The Institute of Leadership & Management has some advice for those workers who feel dissatisfied at work, and are considering looking for a new role: 

1. Let your manager know you want to be challenged. If you feel you’re underappreciated by your manager, talk to them to find out what they value and where they think you can improve. Let them know how you feel and what else you can give the business. 

2. Seek opportunities and volunteer. If you feel like you’re not making any progress, ask to take on more responsibility or try to find new opportunities that will help to address this issue. 

3. Set a timescale to achieve the improvements you want. Doing this will help both you and your manager to understand how you want your career to develop, how you’re going to go about it and create a benchmark.


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