Employers in the UK and Ireland have the most disaffected workforces in Europe, according to a new survey, with almost half of staff in both countries planning on looking for a new job by the end of the year.
Research across ten Europe countries by Aon Consulting found that some 47 per cent of workers in the UK and 49 per cent of those in Ireland were hoping to leave their current role, considerably more than the European average of 33 per cent.
Only Norwegian workers (36 per cent) displayed anything close to the same desire to change employer, while job satisfaction appears to be highest in Belgium and the Netherlands, with just 17 per cent of workers in each country getting itchy feet.
While the report points out that it is far from clear if the economic reality will actually allow this mass exodus to happen, it nevertheless gives a clear message that measures such as cutting staff numbers and freezing salaries are driving a decline in job satisfaction.
Aon's Peter Abelskamp warned that organisations risk further damage by alienating the very high-performers they need to pull themselves out of recession.
"Such policies have tended to be applied uniformly with little distinction being made between high and low performing employees," he said.
"Not surprisingly, high performing employees are starting to feel unmotivated and trapped and with a glimmer of hope for economic recovery, many such individuals in the UK are now asking themselves whether better opportunities lie elsewhere.
"The result of this discontent is a significant hike in the number of people intending to seek a job with a new employer.
And he added: "Without doubt, if you consider an employee to be valuable, the chances are that your competitors will too."