Hay Warns of UK Employee Exodus Over Pay

How much longer can the employee goodwill that has propped up many companies over the recession last? Not much longer if predictions from the Hay Group are anything to go by, which warns of a possible employee exodus.

According to Hay, many companies who instigated pay freezes will be forced to buckle next year, but the resulting average UK pay rise will not rise above 1.6 per cent -- far below the predicted rate of inflation of at least 3 per cent. This is bound to undermine employee engagement as businesses start to feel growth and this could lead to a talent exodus just when key employees are needed to take advantage of the upturn.

According to an worker attitudes survey conducted by the consultancy The Loyalty Deficit, over a third of employees are dissatisfied with their roles and 45 per cent would not recommend their current employer to a friend or family member.
Up to now, the one thing stopping disengaged employees from leaving is a depressed and uncertain employment market. Research out from financial services provider MetLife Europe supports Hay's misgivings by finding an increase in job security felt by employees. The research on the attitudes of 2,038 UK adults revealed 62 per cent of them felt secure in their jobs -- a rise from 59 per cent in July.

Other metrics that indicate an increased feeling of stability, such as making pension contributions and investing in the stock market were also on the increase. It's safe to assume that if people feel secure in their current jobs that they are just as likely to be confident in finding a good job elsewhere.

Clearly, if the stats here have any weight, the signs are that employers could be in for a period of churn in staffing as employees quit workplaces they feel haven't treated them in the way they deserve over the last 18 months.

If you want to know whether you are in danger of losing key staff, nothing beats spending time with the people you manage, according to Sterling Performance blogger Andrew Leigh and now, as the party season gets under way, is probably the best chance you will have to socialise with employees and get an impression of how they really feel about their jobs in an informal way.

(Pic: James Jordan cc2.0)