More UK employees seek a job switch, and a majority want a “family feel” at work

Most workers prefer an organisation that has a “family feel”, with managers who act as mentors. But just 26% of employees say they work for such an organisation, according to a new UK survey.

Additionally, while employee engagement is on the rise in the twice-yearly outlook by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), so is the percentage of workers looking to switch jobs.

Twenty-three per cent of workers, predominantly younger ones, are looking for a new job with a different employer, the CIPD survey of more than 2,200 employees in the UK shows. That’s a slight increase from last spring (22%) and spring 2013 (21%).

While 55% say they want an employer that treats workers more like family members, the numbers show that 46% work in more formal environments, “where procedures govern what people do and hold people together.”

Twenty per cent say they want to work in such a formal environment, followed by 15% who want a more dynamic, entrepreneurial, and risk-taking environment. Meanwhile, 10% seek a “result-oriented” organisation with an emphasis on winning.

A Deloitte survey from earlier this year showed that the issue of culture and engagement leapt to the top of a list of challenges for organisations worldwide.

With 59% of employees in the CIPD survey calling their engagement level “neutral” and with more job options thanks to an improved economy, plenty of employers are teetering on the edge of losing workers.

“Culture is one of the few things that can define a business, and if organisations can get it right, it will give them a competitive edge and a strong foundation for business growth,” Jessica Cooper, a CIPD research adviser, said in a news release.

The CIPD says that 39% of employees are engaged in their work, up from 35% a year ago. The level of disengagement dropped from 4% to 3%. A survey of US workers from earlier this year by Gallup showed that 31.5% of workers were engaged, compared with 29.6% the previous year.

In the CIPD survey, the top indicator of engagement scores was attitude towards senior managers, followed by work/life balance and satisfaction with line managers. The biggest negative factor related to senior managers, according to employees, is in consulting with staff on important decisions.

Other findings

  • Women (68%) are more satisfied with their jobs than men (60%).
  • Employees at micro-businesses (two to nine workers) reported the highest job satisfaction.
  • Eighteen per cent of workers say they never receive feedback about performance, either formally or informally.
  • The highest percentage of workers seeking jobs elsewhere is in the voluntary, or not-for-profit, sector (29%).
  • The highest percentage of workers seeking jobs elsewhere is 18- to 24-year-olds (34%), followed by 25- to 34-year-olds (30%).

Related CGMA Magazine content:

Companies Aware of, But Not Acting on, Need to Alter Engagement Strategies”: Most companies are aware of the need to focus more on employee engagement, but few say they are doing enough to adapt to coming changes.

Neil Amato ( is a CGMA Magazine senior editor.