UK employees among the least loyal in Europe 

Nearly half of UK workers (47 per cent) are planning to change jobs in less than three years, compared to a third of European employees, research finds.

A pan-European study of 11,000 working adults by ADP reveals how employees feel about the future of work.

Nearly half of UK workers are planning to change jobs in less than three years, compared to 34 per cent of European employees.

UK employees are also the least likely to see a long-term future with their employer. Just 17 per cent want to spend the rest of their career in their present organisation, while 40 per cent 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, with 69 per cent of UK employees not seeing 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 per cent), Italy (47 per cent), and Poland (39 per cent) are particularly concerned about a talent drain to other countries.

The renewed interest to explore the job market reflects employee attitudes towards the economy. Some 81 per cent of UK employees say they are now optimistic about the future of work – up from 77 per cent in 2014 and just 64 per cent 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 per cent.

Italian employees are the least upbeat and most likely to say the future looks unpredictable (61 per cent).

UK employees are the most confident in their organisation’ ability to compete for business and talent internationally (58 per cent in the UK, compared to 49 per cent in Germany). Across Europe, the average currently stands at 50 per cent.

Leon Vergnes, senior vice president for EMEA at ADP says, ‘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.’

Gerwyn Davies, labour market adviser at the Chartered Insititute of Personnel and Development says that, 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.’

Further reading on staff retention

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel was the editor of from 2010 to 2018. He specialises in writing for start-up and scale-up companies in the areas of finance, marketing and HR.

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