Work life balance a crucial factor for UK employees

Britain is leading the way in Europe with regards to how employees view work-life priorities, according to new research from Robert Half International.

Britain is leading the way in Europe with regards to how employees view work-life priorities, according to new research from Robert Half International.

The research, which surveys executives from across businesses in South America, Continental Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Australia/New Zealand, shows that nearly three in 10 (29%) HR executives in the UK – the highest across Continental Europe and the second highest in the world – cited work-life balance as the primary motivation for employees leaving their company for other opportunities.  
Employees in Switzerland are less concerned about this balance, with a low 4% stating that ‘work-life’ was a priority, followed closely by the Czech Republic (8%).
Remuneration is still the top reason for employees to leave their jobs, according to 32% of UK executives, although work-life balance is the top response amongst London-based respondents, with nearly four in 10 (38%) saying this was the case.
Worldwide, remuneration remains a primary motivation for employees sourcing other jobs, with Singapore (58%), China (52%), Brazil (50%), Italy (45%) and Australia (40%) all favouring salary benefits. Career advancement is moving up the ranks with countries such as Germany (39%), Luxembourg (34%) and Netherlands (33%), although it is not seen as a deciding factor in countries/states such as Dubai (11%), China (12%), Singapore (12%) and Italy ( 13%). In those countries salary is seen as the main factor when choosing a new role.    
Phil Sheridan, managing director of Robert Half UK, said: “The work-life balance topic has always been highly debated – with many employees looking for ways to balance both professional and personal commitments.  Companies looking to attract and retain the best staff need to stop focusing solely on remuneration, but on other aspects of the work-life environment which are important to employees, such as career development and flexible working.”
“Employee retention has become one of today’s most critical staffing challenges in a fast-changing environment and nearly three in four (73%) UK HR directors are concerned about losing top employees in the coming year. Stable employment and lucrative compensation no longer have the influence they once did to keep workers with a company for the long-term.  
“Employees are looking for more. They want varied and meaningful work, challenging assignments, opportunities for career development and help with balancing work and their personal lives. If most of these boxes are not ticked, then organisations run the risk of losing that ‘star employee’. While the tendency to retain employees through counteroffers is on the rise, this is often only a temporary fix.”





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