3/5 workers overestimate their value to employers

10th Nov 2010
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Although nearly four out of five UK workers would like to change employer, three fifths overestimate their financial value.

According to a survey undertaken by vocational distance learning provider the Home Learning College, while some 78% of staff would like a new job, just over a third are actively looking.
Some 27% have chosen not to share this information with their boss or line manager, however, with men being the most likely to come clean about their career plans (38%). But there are also regional differences among active jobseekers choosing to reveal whether they are seeking new opportunities.
People in the West Midlands were most likely to spill the beans (44%), followed by Yorkshire and the Humber (43%) and Scotland (42%). Workers in the North East (23%) and East Anglia (22%) were the least to share their plans, however.
Dave Snow, academic director at the Home Learning College, said: “With the economy in such turmoil and job losses rife across most sectors, it’s not surprising that unhappy employees are staying quiet and choosing not to rock the boat with their existing bosses. However, employers should be aware that a vast proportion of their workforce is actively seeking, or at least considering, their next move.”
While keeping staff engaged did not necessarily have to take the form of pay rises or promotions, developing employee skills could serve to show that employers were investing in their future, he added.
But a second study by HR consultancy Reabur among 1,293 UK adults revealed that 61% overestimated their monetary value to their employer, while 93% believed that they were underpaid. Some 18% claimed that they were underpaid by as much as £5,000 per year, while a further 29% felt they should be paid an extra £3,000.
To make matters worse, some 54% said that they did not enjoy their job, although 73% claimed that they liked the company that they worked for.
Kirsty Burgess, Reabur’s co-founder, said that the research surprised her “not so much that people believe that they are underpaid because I think we would all like a little extra money each month. More so by the fact that respondents believe they are worth an extra £5,000 per year, which shows that they are out of touch with the market rate for their role”.
While the subject of salaries could be a difficult and emotive one to approach, employers needed to ensure that differences in earnings between members of the same team were both justified and would stand up to scrutiny under equality legislation.
“It’s always good to undertake benchmarking exercises to ensure you are paying market rates,” Burgess said.

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