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Nearly 1/5 UK employees feel undervalued at work

A new report has found that almost a fifth of UK employees, around 5.5 million people, feel undervalued at work.

The Love2shop Employee Value Report is the second annual survey of UK workers commissioned by UK reward, incentive, and gifting experts Love2shop.

This year it has been revealed that of those who feel undervalued in the workplace, 8-in-10 are looking to leave their current role. Over a quarter, around 1.5 million workers, said they are willing to leave their current position without another job lined up, despite the rising cost of living.

Julian Coghlan, Managing Director of Love2shop said, “everyone has seen the impact of rising costs this year. It’s a major concern that, even when times are tough, so many UK workers are so unhappy they would seriously consider leaving without a job to go to.

“Last year our report revealed a significant problem with employee value in the UK. While some employers have acted since then to improve overall happiness, millions of workers still feel disengaged from the business they work for.

“This should be a wake-up call for UK businesses. The cost of recruiting new talent and training them to replace outgoing staff far outweighs the cost of implementing a reward and recognition structure that would improve employee happiness, loyalty, and productivity.”

The Love2shop Employee Value Report feeds into a more comprehensive picture of employee happiness and value. According to the Workforce Institute, for example, one in three workers would rather quit their job than voice concerns at work.

Julian added, “communication is critical. Unfortunately, it seems that there are still many workplaces where staff do not feel comfortable or confident in raising concerns. That can cause issues around health and safety, and it erodes people’s motivation and satisfaction in their jobs.

“Better communication and conversations in the workplace are a cost-effective way to improve value, as in many cases the only critical investment required is time.”

Employers are potentially facing problems down the line too. The number of employees looking for a new role rises amongst the younger demographic, with 87 per cent of Gen Z actively pursuing a different job. Without a pipeline of young talent to replace outgoing, experienced workers, businesses could find themselves falling headfirst into a skills gap.

Regarding rewards, nearly 6 in 10 employees say that days off, flexible working hours, and multi-retailer gift cards are the best ways for companies to reward employees.

Nearly 90 per cent of UK employees said they would feel more valued if their boss surprised them with a multi-retailer gift card as a spontaneous gift. More than half (57%) of employees, almost 17.2 million people, claimed their productivity increases when they feel valued.

However, 47 per cent of respondents reported they had never received spontaneous gifts from their employer. Long-term, this is impacting recruitment as over two-thirds (67%) of UK employees surveyed said they check a company’s reward system, culture, employee happiness ratings, and reviews before applying for a job.

And in a sign of the continuing impact of the rising cost of living, 34 per cent of workers revealed if they were to receive a multi-retailer gift card from their company, they would spend it on the weekly shop, while 12 per cent would use it to buy school essentials for their children.

Regionally, the report found workers in Liverpool feel more underappreciated than anywhere else in the UK, with over a quarter (27%) of those in the city region feeling undervalued in the workplace.

Workers in the Northwest felt broadly the same as those in Liverpool, with more than a fifth (21%) reporting feeling undervalued. Elsewhere in England, Southampton scored the highest for employee value, with 61 per cent of people scoring highly for feelings of appreciation at work.

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