Majority of UK employees say ‘Great Resignation’ is overplayed

uploaded on 13 January 2022

Supporting employees through cost of living crisis and work-life balance are top demands for HR teams and employers in 2022.

UK employees don’t recognise the phenomenon of the 'Great Resignation’ and are more preoccupied with work-life balance and the cost of living crisis than looking for a new job, according to new research from reward and benefits provider Edenred.

The study of 2,000 UK employees found the majority of those in work at the time of the pandemic (65%) didn’t or even want to resign compared to 35% that say they wanted to or couldn’t.

Only 10% said they have actually resigned in the past six months. Since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, the majority have stayed in their job (60%) compared with 27% that moved to a new role.

Looking forward into 2022, only 6% will leave in the next month and 12% plan to in the next six months. Nearly half (45%) of employees say they have no plans to leave their job.

The survey also found that 57% of UK employees don’t believe or don’t know whether a Great Resignation is happening. And 59% don’t know anyone that has resigned versus 26% who know more than one person and 15% who know one person that has.

Although the Great Resignation appears currently to be more myth than reality, there is little room for employer complacency with a cost of living crisis caused by rising taxes and energy prices set to bite this April. Employees said that the top reason that would encourage them to stay in their role would be a pay rise (47%).

The stress of pandemic working is also prompting employees to consider their relationship with work beyond pay, with 46% saying the pandemic has made them realise what they truly want from life.

They also say that more flexible hours (37%), the ability to work from home (31%), more perks (30%) and greater appreciation from employers (25%) are factors that will encourage them to stay in their roles.

In particular, employees want more support from their employer with improving their financial wellbeing (38%) and achieving a good work-life balance (64%)

Alisdair Seenan, HR Director at Edenred UK said:

“Our research shows clearly that when it comes to employee retention, employers have it all to play for because it is in their power to deliver much of what employees want from an employer right now.

The fact that the majority (64%) of staff felt well supported by their employer through the pandemic and this has had a positive impact on their decision to stay shows that the majority of organisations are already getting this right.

The employers who continue to listen to employees concerns about the cost of living crisis and work-life balance and then do something about it will be the ones who will stand apart from the competition.”

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