Employee Engagement

New independent research among over 2,000 UK adults commissioned by Studio Graphene, has revealed how satisfied full-time workers across the country are in their job. It found:

  • 30% of full-time employees in the UK plan to change jobs in 2019 – this rises to 39% among 18-34 year olds
    • 33% would take a lower salary if they could have a more satisfying role or better work-life balance
  • Two fifths (39%) do not feel valued by their employers
    • Those who work in a large company (47%) are far more likely to feel this way than those in small companies (29%)
  • The same number (39%) do not feel their capabilities are being properly utilised in their current job – again the figure jumps within large firms (45%) and even higher (46%) among those who earn over £75,000 a year
  • 38% believe they could do a better job than their line manager – a massive 58% of high earners (£75,000 a year and above) said this
  • Among the other grievances that UK full-time employees have:
    • A third (34%) feel they have not developed professionally over the past 12 months
    • 36% are not happy with their work-life balance – the figure drops to 26% for those in micro businesses and 29% within small companies
    • 34% of employees say they have no freedom to express themselves at work

Studio Graphene’s research demonstrates that large sections of the UK’s employment sector are unhappy in their role, with 30% planning to find a new job next year and 34% feeling they did not develop professionally in 2018.

The survey also shows that there are a particularly high proportion of dissatisfied employees within large organisations (those with more than 250 employees) compared to micro (one-nine) and small (10-49) businesses.

For example, 45% of people working in large firms feel their capabilities are being wasted – in micro and small businesses the number drops to 31% and 29% respectively. Similarly, 47% of those in large enterprises feel undervalued by their employer; just 29% of those in small companies said the same.

High salaries do not rid employees of their concerns either. Almost half (46%) of people who earn over £75,000 said their skills are not properly utilised at work, with even more (58%) saying they could do a better job than their manager. Furthermore, 50% of high earners are not happy with their work-life balance and 44% would take a pay cut to address this.

Ritam Gandhi, founder and director of Studio Graphene, said: “The research shows just how many people were dissatisfied by their work in 2018. One of the reasons is because there are so many elements employers must get right: from culture and work-life balance through to salaries and professional development, people are increasingly looking for a complete package in their job, not just an idle ‘9 to 5’.

“It is interesting to note that people working in large companies or earning high salaries are among the least content. That is certainly one factor that has drawn so many people to launch or join a startup – this is where people feel they are more valued and engaged as an employee, while it can also fast-track their professional development.

“As someone who both runs a startup and works with startups, I know how important it is to instil the right culture in a small team and ensure staff have the right work-life balance. But this is a difficult task; one must put appropriate structures in place while still treating everyone as adults, giving them the freedom to express themselves and reach their potential.”

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