Nearly three quarters (73%) of UK employees are seeking a new job in 2024 and 90% have concerns about their current employment.
Research from BHN (Blackhawk Network) published today also found two out of 10 of UK employees are thriving and enjoying their current role, whilst an additional 12% are completely burnt-out.
The survey of 1,000 employees across the UK sought to understand the disparity of how employers are using incentives to show their appreciation, and how appreciated staff are feeling.
Playing with the fire of an unengaged workforce
But how can employers improve the morale amongst their employees? 20% of those looking for a new job want better rewards, incentives, or recognition from their employer; whilst nearly a quarter (23%) wanted improved benefits options.
The findings show that employers need to act now to make sure their staff feel valued, however it also indicates that many leaders don’t know where to start.
Has hybrid working created unrealistic expectations?
BHN’s research also found that for most employees, flexibility is a top priority. In fact, 32% of people say that flexible working locations are contributing to their reasons to seek out new employment.
But nonetheless, some employers are still keen to use their physical office spaces to solidify company culture. In fact, the research found that employees feel that there should be some incentives available to motivate employees to come into the office. For example, 50% of employees said they would feel motivated to work in a physical workplace if they received a pay increase, whilst 39% would feel motivated by a four-day work week.
Rewards aren’t just for Christmas
The findings show that workers who regularly receive regular recognition will feel more valued for their work. With 80% of workers sharing, they feel more valued for their work when receiving rewards from their employer, and two thirds (67%) of employees feel that they should receive recognition for positive contributions at least monthly or on a more frequent basis.
On top of this 84% of employers expressed an interest in being able to recognise their peers for positive work contributions, of which 90% wanted to give them a reward or incentive. This finding shows the importance and demand for building a reward culture in the workplace.
There is still however a significant discrepancy in what employees need and what employers are providing, as 43% of workers shared that their company doesn’t have a reward and/or recognition program.
Chris Ronald, VP EMEA B2B for Incentives, Rewards & Benefits at BHN said: “Covid, hybrid working and advancements of remote working tech have all contributed to a shift in employee behaviour and their expectations. Employers must listen to their employee’s needs or they risk losing them. The fact that so many people in the UK are unhappy with their employment has significant consequences. Not just on an individual business level but also for the wider economy.
"While our research shows that employers are misaligned with their team's needs, there are proactive steps they can take to bridge the gap. Business leaders need to embrace this transition; acknowledging the evolving work-life demands their employees face and fostering a culture where not only good work but positive workplace behaviours are celebrated and people feel valued.”