Two-thirds of us would rather be in another job

Oct 26 2006 by Brian Amble Print This Article

If three people are sitting together in office or meeting room, the chances are that two of them would rather they were in a different job and one couldn't care less about the organisation they work for.

A new poll of more than 2,800 employees in the UK carried out for online learning provider SkillSoft has found that two-thirds go to work wishing they were in a different job.

What's more, most are taking proactive steps to do something about this. Six out of 10 said that they check job listings and recruitment websites while they are at work and one in five have their details registered with a recruitment agency, headhunter or online job service. Four out of 10 also have an up-to-date CV ready to go when it is needed.

Just as worryingly for employers, almost a third of those interviewed claim to have no loyalty towards the organisation they work for.

In fact, the chances are that employees will be moving on sooner rather than later. A quarter plan to stay in their current job for less than 12 months, with a further quarter saying they will leave their existing employer within one to two years.

The main reasons for this deep-seated dissatisfaction are motivation and money. A quarter complained that they don't earn enough in their current jobs while one in five claimed that they are simply bored.

Almost as many some 18 per cent said they their efforts went unappreciated, while 16 per cent felt that their talents and skills were wasted in their current role.

The under-use of competencies was a recurring theme in the survey. When asked directly whether they felt they were making the most of their talents and skills, almost three-quarters of those surveyed said no. And when asked if they thought their employer recognised their potential, an overwhelming eight out of 10 said that they didn't.

However, the survey is not all bad news; more than half the sample would welcome the opportunity to improve their potential and increase their skills if given the opportunity.

Encouragingly for any employers concerned about the recent age legislation, meanwhile, the survey also revealed that employees become more content at work as they get older, with a quarter of those in their 40s saying they are happy in their work compared to just 14 per cent of those aged 22-25.

Yet despite the dissatisfaction expressed by their subordinates, eight out of 10 of the managers surveyed said they are happy in their work; with a quarter saying they would never consider looking for a new job.

"It's disturbing to see that half of those employees interviewed are only planning to stay in their current roles for a maximum of two years. These findings will disappoint those responsible for recruitment and retention," said SkillSoft's Kevin Young.

"To help counteract this, organisations must ensure that their managers are more effective and that their employees feel appreciated and valued. This reinforces the widespread need for ongoing training in management and communication skills."