Employees would rather quit than live with change

May 08 2005 by Brian Amble Print This Article

An office relocation, a new boss or being asked to work longer hours feature among the main reasons why people decide to quit their jobs, new research suggests.

A survey of 1,000 people for HR consultants The Rialto Consultancy has found that Britons are far from happy about changes at work, with nearly three-quarters saying that they would seriously consider looking for a new job if their company changed location.

The prospect of being assigned a new boss was another major factor leading people to rethink their employment.

Almost a quarter said that getting a new boss would be a reason for leaving, while just over half of men said they would look for a job elsewhere if they were assigned a younger boss.

Meanwhile, almost a quarter (22 per cent) showed decidedly misogynistic tendencies, admitting that they would consider moving on if they had to work for a woman.

In 2002, a study by Manchester Metropolitan University found that personality clashes or general dissatisfaction with line managers are the biggest single reason that British companies have to spend billions of pounds a year replacing people they would rather keep.

But the Rialto research suggests that work-life balance considerations have become some of the most important retention triggers for most workers in the UK.

Almost six out of 10 (57 per cent) said they would consider leaving their job if asked to work more overtime, rising to nearly three-quarters (73 per cent) of women. And almost half (47 per cent) would be also reconsider their options if changes to their working schedule were imposed on them.

Two-thirds also said they would not stay on in a job if they thought their career prospects had changed for the worse.

Rialto's Richard Chiumento said: "This research points out that people are still very weary of change and that businesses need to continue to handle changes with extreme care and skill.

"In today's climate, individuals are more willing to change jobs, and if employers change terms or conditions in the workplace, they have to be prepared for the fact that employees may either leave or more probably disengage with their work."