UK office workers most likely to jump ship

British office workers are more likely than their peers in Europe to seek out a new job if their request for a pay rise is turned down, a survey suggests.

Specialist recruitment firm Robert Half UK commissioned an independent market research firm to canvass opinion from 7,500 employees in the UK, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, France, Brazil, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong and the US.

Responses suggest that 54% of UK office workers will request a salary increase this year and nearly one in four (24%) would seek alternative employment if the request was declined. By contrast only 11% of employees in Germany and Belgium, 10% of employees in the Netherlands and 5% in France would find another job.

Only 36% of UK employees said they would wait for the next performance review for a salary increase, while 62% of employees in France would sit it out until the next review, Germany (52%), Netherlands (43%) and Belgium (40%).

One strategy that employees can use to secure a result even when a higher salary is refused is to request something else, such as a different role, more company perks or share options. Yet UK workers are only slightly more likely to ask for alternative rewards (27%) than they are to look for another role (24%).

“There can be many factors behind an employer’s decision not to award a pay rise, including the economic cycle of the business or the need to do a complete performance review of all employees rather than one individual,” said Phil Sheridan, managing director, Robert Half UK.

“It is worth considering the other aspects of your remuneration package, whether that’s more flexible hours, additional annual leave days or a sideways move into a role that will gain you more experience as these options could be just as rewarding.

“From an employer’s point of view, it’s important to keep a regular eye on salary and other remuneration trends to ensure that your top performers are being rewarded in line with industry benchmarks. Reviewing your employee’s remuneration package alongside their career development and potential progression within the business will support retention efforts.”


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