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Bosses Risk Being Left In The Lurch By Job-hopping Employees

16th November 2005

Scottish Businesses Struggling to Hold on to Staff.
More than three-quarters of the Scottish workforce (78%) know or suspect that colleagues are on the lookout for a new job, according to new research. The statistics have prompted a warning to bosses to take steps now to improve employee motivation and safeguard productivity.

The research, which surveyed more than nearly 250 employees in Scotland, also found that just over one fifth (21%) of employees are unhappy in their current job, with a further 34 per cent feeling unsure and considering their future. Itchy feet may be the result of this discontentment - nearly a quarter of staff say they expect to spend just a year or less in their job, with just over half (53%) planning to spend less than three years in their current role.

The job-hopping trend is also reflected in the finding that nearly one third (31%) of those questioned have had two jobs in the past five years, whilst 11 per cent have had three.

The research also found that the top tell-tale signs of colleagues who are job hunting include increased use of mobile phones, sudden illness, booking holidays at short notice, having urgent appointments and a lax approach to working hours.

Peter Russian, chief executive of Investors in People Scotland commented: "It's clear that the days of collecting a gold watch for loyal service are long gone - today's employees are restless and demand more from their employers and, if they don't get it, they simply pack up their desk and move on. For employers, the job-hopping workforce presents a real challenge and risk: it is vital that they act now to tackle the underlying causes of why people want to move on.

"Employers need to keep the interest high and the challenge fresh. Improving communication and recognising employee contribution makes a real difference to employee motivation and, ultimately, an organisation's bottom-line.

"Recruitment is a costly and time-consuming business and what's more, high turnover can be unsettling for both staff and customers. This makes it even more important for employers to take the necessary steps to build commitment with their staff to motivate them and incentivise them to stay, before it is too late."

The research also revealed almost half of organisations (49%) don't have a succession plan in place should a member of staff leave - a necessary system to ensure that an organisation is well placed to cope with change and avoid being derailed by staff departures.

Other key findings of the research include:

The key reasons for people leaving their jobs are:

  • Better pay / benefits elsewhere (43%)
  • New challenge (36%)
  • Opportunities for career progression / promotion (20%)
  • Lack of recognition for current contribution (20%)
  • Lack of development opportunities in current role (19%)

The most popular excuse used by people going for job interviews is booking time off work or taking holiday (15%), but the vast majority of people say they've never had to make an excuse when going for job interviews.

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