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UK employees the least loyal in Europe

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UK employees are amongst the least loyal in Europe, according to new research byADP®. The pan-European study of 11,000 working adults reveals how employees feel about the future of work. Nearly half of UK workers (47 percent) are planning to change jobs in less than three years, compared to a third (34 percent) of European employees.

UK employees are also the least likely to see a long term future with their employer.Just 17 percent want to spend the rest of their career in their present organisation, whilst 40 percent of German workers see this as an option.The job market is now becoming more competitive as employees are looking for opportunities outside of their home country. However, attitudes towards foreign talent are generally positive. 69 percent of UK employees don’t see foreign talent entering the local job market as a threat.Even though companies may benefit from a global talent pool, losing local workforce is causing a headache for some countries. Employees in Spain (49 percent), Italy (47 percent), and Poland (39 percent) are particularly concerned about a talent drain to other countries.

The renewed interest to explore the job market reflects employee attitudes towards the economy. 81 percent of UK employees say they are now optimistic about the future of work – up from 77 percent in 2014 and just 64 percent in 2013. The research also shows that UK workers are more confident about the economy than the rest of Europe, where optimism stands at 77 percent.Italian employees are the least upbeat and most likely to say the future looks unpredictable (61 percent).The strong level of optimism reflects the UK’s sustained position in the global economy. UK employees are the most confident in their organisation’ ability to compete for business and talent internationally (58 percent in the UK, compared to 49 percent in Germany). Across Europe, the average currently stands at 50 percent.

Leon Vergnes, Senior Vice President EMEA at ADP, commented: “It is evident that Europe’s improving economic stability is enhancing employee attitudes towards the future of work. However, the war for talent and tackling skills gaps are both key challenges for European businesses that must also consider how they can attract the best talent in the market. Employing people from diverse backgrounds and encouraging international movement of talent are crucial factors for ensuring global competitiveness. When businesses consider mobility as part of their strategy, they will reap the benefits of an engaged, optimistic and committed workforce.”

Annabel Jones, HR Director at ADP UK, said: “UK employees are particularly optimistic about the country’s economic condition and are now setting their sights on changing jobs and competing internationally. This is incredibly encouraging, but also means that retaining talent will be a key issue for businesses. Organisations must rethink how they can build an engaged workforce. Ultimately, the success of a business depends on its people.”

Gerwyn Davies, Labour Market Adviser at the CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development, commented: “With hiring pressures rising for many UK employers, the option to recruit foreign talent is becoming an indispensable channel for an ever-growing number of UK employers.  Migrant workers have helped many businesses grow and plug worsening skills shortages in the public sector. In addition, they bring more experience and skills to the role on average. It is perhaps no surprise therefore to see such overwhelming recognition among the vast majority of their UK workers about the positive contribution migrant workers make to their organisation.”

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