PwC survey: Next big wave of resignations driven by overworked, underpaid employees

More people are mulling their options as they feel increasingly overworked and underpaid amid relentless cost pressures.

Employees feel so stuck at work that many more people are considering quitting now than during the mass resignations we saw in 2022, auditor PwC found in its Global Workforce Hopes and Fears Survey released Tuesday, covering more than 56,000 workers around the world.

The report, in which nearly half of respondents were Millennials, followed by Generations X and Z employees, found a staggering 28% increase in the number of people planning to change jobs, up from 19%. during the Great Renunciation in 2022.

Your reasons? Increased workload, professional ambitions and new technologies invading the workplace.

Almost half of respondents said their workload had increased “significantly” in the past 12 months. Workers are also nervous about how much they are paid, with 43% willing to ask for a pay rise. That’s not all: 62% of employees feel that the pace of change in the workplace has also accelerated during the same period, especially as they have had to adapt to new technological tools in their jobs and greater financial pressure.

To add to the mix, employees’ personal goals to expand their skill sets and advance their careers are also prompting them to consider jumping ship.

In general, more workers feel better about taking on a new role, hoping to find respite.

“Workers around the world are increasingly prioritizing long-term skills growth and are looking for organizations that can help facilitate this,” said Carol Stubbings, global markets and legal and tax services leader at PwC UK. Fortuneadding that emerging technologies such as generative AI and its applications at work continue to be front and center for employees.

“Ultimately, employees may be looking to change for a variety of reasons, many of which will depend on their unique circumstances and the broader trends facing their geography, industry and role.”

Other studies on the topic have also indicated similar results; For example, a LinkedIn and Microsoft survey published earlier this year covering 31,000 people worldwide found that an even higher proportion of people were inclined to leave their jobs in the coming year than during the pandemic.

Europe and its growing group of quitters

The Great Resignation may have taken off in the United States, but Europeans have not been spared. Countries such as France and Germany have also faced dilemmas around their employment, wages and benefits in recent years.

Even in the UK, more workers have considered leaving their jobs after the pandemic than during it. Workers’ dissatisfaction has come at a time of high interest rates and costs of living, pushing many of them to consider seeking greener pastures. It doesn’t help that employees are also quitting their jobs by quietly leaving the workplace, affecting their productivity.

“It is essential that leaders prioritize well-being as a core value and critical driver of performance within their organization. “Overworked and distracted workers are less likely to perform well,” the PwC report notes.

These trends point to a continuation of the Great Resignation. The only difference? We have moved from a period marked by lockdowns and remote working to one that is relatively “normal” but still faces new challenges.

AI is one of them, according to the PwC report. These platforms can help increase efficiency, making them invaluable in the workplace of the future.

Most CEOs think technology is the reason for new changes at work, but very few employees use AI-powered generative tools regularly. That doesn’t mean they’re not optimistic about AI, Stubbings said.

The study found that 72% of light AI users among respondents believe the technology will improve the quality of their work, while half of them believe it will lead to higher salaries.

The problem for employees who look elsewhere is that most of those who quit their jobs eventually regret their decision, the data suggests.

But will that stop the growing group of workers who are considering quitting? Maybe not. However, PwC suggests that managers step up to help employees navigate the complicated balance between all the changes in the workplace and not feel overwhelmed while doing so.

“Companies need to create guidance and mentoring on the types of skills employees need to develop. It is also important to create a learning culture, where unlocking learning opportunities is part of the organization’s DNA,” PwC stated in its report.

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