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42pc of workers say pay increases are key to addressing staff turnover

29 Apr 2022

In a global EY survey, more than a third of those searching for a new job said that a salary increase was their main reason for leaving their current role.

The world’s workers are now more concerned with better pay than flexible working arrangements, according to the EY 2022 Work Reimagined Survey.

EY surveyed 1,500 business leaders and more than 17,000 employees across 22 countries and 26 industry sectors in recent months. It found that employees have gained significant influence over their employers and what workers are looking for from potential employers is changing.

As more employers have shifted to flexible working policies to meet rising demand post-pandemic, they are now faced with a new challenge.

Employees want higher salaries. Nearly half (43pc) of global respondents to EY’s survey said they were likely to quit in the next 12 months. Desire for higher pay, better career opportunities amid rising inflation, a shrinking labour market and an increase in jobs offering flexible working were the main factors cited.

A recent report from also cited inflation as a major concern for Irish workers making decisions about their careers right now.

“This latest survey shows that employees around the world are feeling empowered to leave jobs if their expectations are not met,”  said Laura Flynn, head of people consulting at EY Ireland.

“As employers have increasingly provided flexible work approaches, higher pay is now the biggest motivation for changing jobs, particularly given rising inflation and available unfilled roles. This is a trend we are certainly starting to see here in Ireland also.”

More than a third of those searching for new roles (35pc) said that a salary increase was their main reason for deciding to leave. One-quarter said they were leaving to look for career growth.

Professionals in the technology and hardware sectors were most eager to leave, with 60pc saying they were likely to quit their jobs this year.

In the survey, 42pc of workers said that pay increases would be the key to addressing staff turnover – but only 18pc of employers agreed with this.

Flexible working arrangements were less of a priority for those considering leaving a job, with only 19pc saying they were seeking remote work flexibility from a new job. By contrast, last year’s EY survey found that flexibility was the biggest factor for people leaving their jobs.

That is not to say that workers do not want flexible working practices, as 80pc of employees said they want to work remotely at least two days a week. It seems employers have also adjusted to this shift as only a minority (22pc) said they wanted workers back in the office five days a week.

Employees seem to be happier with their workplaces’ corporate cultures, with 61pc saying they had seen improvements.

However, this may not be the case for all employees. Deloitte’s recent Women @ Work report found that almost 40pc of women surveyed are actively looking for a new employer, citing burnout as the main reason for leaving.

Of late, there have been mixed views on how remote working could impact women, with some saying it is beneficial for work-life balance and others suggesting it could lead to proximity bias and an ‘old boys’ club’ mentality in offices.

Deloitte surveyed almost 5,000 working women across 10 countries. It found that mental wellbeing and a healthy work-life balance remain elusive for most women, while experiences of harassment and microaggressions are on the rise.

Hybrid work may be posing issues, with nearly 60pc of women surveyed saying they had been kept from meetings, decisions or informal interactions.

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Blathnaid O’Dea
By Blathnaid O’Dea

Blathnaid O’Dea worked as a Careers reporter until 2024, coming from a background in the Humanities. She likes people, pranking, pictures of puffins – and apparently alliteration.

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