Employee confidence in the UK business environment has slumped, according to Gartner, Inc. The latest data in Gartner’s Global Talent Monitor report for 4Q18 shows employee confidence in near-term business conditions and long-term economic prospects reaching an index score of 55.6, a decline of 7.5 per cent from an index score of 60.09 in 3Q18. These results follow a worldwide trend that has seen global business confidence sink to its lowest point since the fourth quarter of 2017.
This lapse in confidence was paired with a sharp decline in employees’ active job seeking behavior, which fell by 7.2 per cent from 3Q18. Amid declining perceptions of the job market, coupled with the highly uncertain Brexit outlook, employees’ intent to stay in their current jobs in 4Q18 increased for the first time in 2018, as did their willingness to go above and beyond in their present roles.
Brian Kropp, group vice president of Gartner’s HR practice said, “Our most recent Global Talent Monitor data shows that talent attraction is set to be a particular challenge in the months ahead, regardless of how Brexit plays out.
“With fewer opportunities to pull talent into their organization, employers need to ensure they don’t alienate the brightest and best talent within their company.”
Employees want to see their ambitions rewarded
While fewer UK workers are actively seeking new roles, the top attributes driving job dissatisfaction remained the same. Future career opportunity, or rather, a lack of it was cited by 45.6 per cent of departing employees in the UK as the most dissatisfying attribute of their previous employer. This was followed by personal development opportunity (37.4 per cent) and recognition (36.9 per cent), showing that employees consistently want to see their ambitions matched and acknowledged in the workplace.
The top priorities for UK employees when considering a new role remained similar from 3Q18, with 45.9 per cent of UK employees seeking work-life balance in their new job, 7.8 per cent higher than the global average. Location and job stability placed second and third, picked by 39.9 and 31.5 per cent of employees. Overall, UK employees placed significantly less weight on compensation, with only 27 per cent naming this as a top attribute, compared with the global average of 45 per cent.
Employers must focus on engaging and retaining talent
With more employees planning to stay in their current roles and increase their discretionary effort at work amid an uncertain economic and political climate, employers must establish strategies to better engage, retain and reward their current workforce. Organizations can make progress on these goals by ensuring they prioritize the delivery of a robust Employee Value Proposition (EVP) that focuses on the attributes driving both employee attraction and attrition, such as work-life balance, stability and compensation.
Kropp added, “UK employees clearly have greater priorities than compensation, challenging the assumption made by many companies: that paychecks matter most to workers.
“Organizations must deliver what employees want most and, just as important, they must communicate this to current employees and prospects alike. Doing so can drastically increase employees’ satisfaction and trust in their employer, and thus improve their overall engagement with the business.”
Global Talent Monitor data is drawn from the larger Gartner Global Labor Market Survey that is made up of more than 22,000 employees in 40 countries. The survey is conducted quarterly and is reflective of market conditions during the quarter preceding publication.