Business

'Bad leadership' forces Northern Ireland workers to job-hunt

Thousands of people in Northern Ireland intend to look for a new job this year because poor management is making them unhappy at work, according to a report from Investors in People

HALF of workers in Northern Ireland intend to look for a new job in 2018 - because in most cases their talent is being taken for granted.

Poor management is cited as the main motivator of their unhappiness in a new workplace study by Investors in People (IIP).

Its annual Job Exodus Survey - which aims to establish how employees have fared in the face of political and economic uncertainty over the last year - found that 58 per cent of Northern Ireland workers say they will be looking for new jobs in 2018, with 26 per cent already actively job hunting.

The report shows that nearly a quarter of employees in the region (23 per cent) say they are unhappy in their jobs (although this is an 11 per cent fall from last year's findings).

Disappointment over poor management is the major driver of discontentment in these regions, being flagged by the vast majority (70 per cent) of respondents.

Despite improvements in the labour market yielding an increase in the employment rate of 0.6 per cent and the lowest unemployment rate since 1975, there has been a fall in average weekly earnings of 0.4 per cent compared to this time last year.

The latest survey included a new set of questions aiming to get an overview of how the UK's decision to leave the EU has influenced the way we think about job security and the place of our organisations in the economy. IIP's results revealed that 26 per cent of people in Northern Ireland believe Brexit will impact their job security.

Paul Devoy, head of Investors in People said: “In a year where unemployment has reached its lowest level since 1975, but wages have stagnated, the improvements to the labour market have failed to translate to the pockets of UK's workers.

"With research suggesting that employee disengagement costs the UK economy £340 billion annually, bad leadership is eroding UK productivity.

"With 70 per cent of workers in Northern Ireland citing poor management as the main reason they're considering looking for a new job next year, management strategies must evolve to meet the demands of employees if organisations are to retain staff.”

He added: “The fact that nearly half of employees are contemplating a new job in 2018 should be a wake- up call to employers that they can't take their talent for granted. UK workers have spoken; people don't leave jobs, they leave bosses.

"Unless employers listen to and act upon the views of their employees, particularly around the effectiveness of management, the UK is going to continue to lag behind the G7 in terms of productivity ultimately making us all less prosperous.”

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