Sacking or abusing workers prompts others to leave

May 24 2005 by Nic Paton Print This Article

Workers who see colleagues being treated badly or made redundant are move likely to leave their jobs, even if they are not personally affected, a study has suggested.

A survey of nearly 1,000 workers by consultancy Rialto found nearly three quarters of workers – 72 per cent – would look to change jobs if a colleague was treated badly, and 64 per cent would do so if there were wide-scale redundancies

This suggests employers who believe redundancy "survivors" are more likely to stay put simply because they too cowed and fearful to go elsewhere could well be mistaken.

Among women, 73 per cent would look to leave if increasing overtime demands were made on them, although for men it was less of an issue, with only 41 per cent saying the same thing.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, freezing pay or reducing benefits such as a pension are two of the quickest ways to encourage employees to walk.

More than a third of those polled said they would look for a new job if their remuneration was frozen, and more than half – 54 per cent – would do so if there was a reduction in company pension contributions.

But attitudes to this were different between men and women, the survey found.

A total of 43 per cent of men polled said they would consider moving if their pay was frozen for a year, against just 31 per cent of women.

Both genders were particularly concerned as regards pension contributions, with nearly two in three men and nearly half of women saying a reduction would encourage them to look around for the exit.

Intriguingly, nearly one in five – 19 per cent – said they would seek another job if their employer made cuts to training and personal development programmes.

Rialto chief executive Richard Chiumento said: "With many organisations adopting pay freezes and cutting of benefits, they need to be aware of the affect this has on employees.

"Morale, productivity and motivation are all at risk of being damaged, and employers need to handle these changes with extreme care.

"With the high cost of recruitment and the fact that employees are more willing to change jobs, employers should be prepared for the fact that employees may either leave or disengage from their work," he added.

With change becoming an increasingly regular phenomenon in the workplace, employers needed to put effective strategies in places to address internal communications and transition management, he advised.