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Workhuman Reveals 86% Of UK Workers Plan To Learn New Skills, Top Reason Is New Job Opportunities; Recognition Key To Positive Culture

Workhuman®, the company revolutionising the way employees celebrate, connect with and appreciate each other in the workplace, today announced the results of its latest UK Human Workplace Index (HWI), a comprehensive survey of full-time UK employees aimed at providing the latest insights into key workforce-related topics.

Common workplace trends like ‘quiet quitting’ and ‘quiet firing’ signal dissatisfaction with company culture and disengagement among employees, with negative consequences for employers and employees alike.

Against this backdrop, the latest UK HWI study confirms the importance of upskilling and positive culture to retention.

Skills and employee turnover trends

A whopping 86% of workers plan to learn a new skill, and amongst those workers, the number one reason is looking for new job opportunities. Close to 60% are doing so because they want a raise or promotion and around 50% are learning new skills to do their current jobs better.

These results underscore the need for employers to invest in employee skills and professional development, as failing to do so may lead to employee turnover.

The findings here are in harmony with the results of Workhuman’s Q4 UK HWI, which showed more than half of workers (53%) think job-hopping (moving jobs every year or two) is the right approach if another opportunity seems more fulfilling or exciting.

Skills blind spots

A large majority (78%) of UK employees feel confident in their skills and knowledge and an impressive 74% say their workplace provides helpful training.

Yet almost two-thirds (63%) of employees say they work with at least one person whose skills do not meet the criteria for their role.

This disconnect indicates a gap between perception and reality, highlighting the need for employers to take a more proactive approach to employee learning and development and address not only individual skill gaps but also ensure consistency and adequacy across the entire workforce.

Need for positive culture and recognition

Amidst growing optimism about the economy, nearly half of UK chief executives are planning to increase their staff numbers in 2024, per PwC research. As UK companies ramp up hiring, developing a positive culture becomes a strategic imperative for attracting, retaining, and effectively integrating new talent into the organisation.

When it comes to creating a positive workplace culture, Workhuman’s latest UK HWI study shows that being appreciated and recognised is the most important factor.

Conversely, a lack of recognition or appreciation is the top reason for a toxic workplace culture (aside from verbal abuse or bullying).

Key learnings for employers

Given that appreciation and recognition are paramount to fostering a positive workplace culture, the research indicates that employers should embed those values in their organisations through concerted initiatives like ongoing feedback or formal recognition programmes.

Likewise, as learning new skills is a top priority for UK workers, primarily driven by their desire for new job opportunities, it’s crucial to understand specific skill gaps and tailor development programmes accordingly for employers to maximise their impact.

Overall, these survey findings emphasise the importance of continuous learning and a supportive work environment. Employers who prioritise upskilling and building a positive culture of recognition will be the most successful at attracting, engaging, and retaining top talent.

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