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Cath Everett

Sift Media

Freelance journalist and former editor of HRZone

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News: Pay and promotion not based on merit, believe UK staff


A huge two thirds of UK employees do not believe that pay rises and promotion at their workplace are based on merit or that their employer provides decent opportunities for career advancement.

These are the key findings of a survey among 2,628 workers conducted by professional services company, Towers Watson.
The study revealed that a worrying 66% were unable to see a clear link between performance and pay, while a mere 32% thought that their employer did a good job of promoting the most qualified staff.
As a result, just over a quarter felt ‘stuck’ in their job, not least because older colleagues were starting to delay retirement. A further 45% also complained of not being given the necessary tools and resources to put in an exceptional performance.
Yves Duhaldeborde, Towers Watson’s head of organisational surveys and insights, said: “The research pains a worrying picture of ‘Standstill Britain’. It suggests that both workers and UK plc are stuck in a rut, without the tools, inclination or support they need to progress.”
The situation was also not helped by the fact that, while 54% and 46% of those questioned had joined their current employer because of the salary and career opportunities on offer respectively, exactly the same number were considering leaving because they were no longer satisfied with either.
Research by management consultancy, Hay Group, threw up similar findings. Its study found that 57% of UK staff felt that their working conditions prevented them from being as productive as they could be, while 48% indicated that the barriers faced to doing their job well were significant.
A mere 64% professed themselves to be engaged and motivated, with just under a quarter planning to leave their current employer over the next two years and 45% within the next five.

One Response

  1. Poor Management in the UK

    I have worked as a manager in/with SMEs and public organisations all my working life (now 63 and not ready to retire!) and the level of management skills is still absolutely shockingly poor.

    most companies, large and small, pay lip service to training. Any training undertaken usually consists of skill specific short courses with no real senior management commitment to managerial training (usually because they are sadly lacking themselves)

    I have witnessed a real negativity and cynicism displayed by SME owners and senior managers to managerial skills. As an HR professional, I have tried countless time to put managerial training on the agenda for senior managers and the attitude has generally been ‘dont have time or money to spend on this stuff’.

    This has a ‘knock on effect’ on all performance management and staff advancement. How are people promoted? unfortunately the ‘not what you know but who you know’ method still reigns!

    It does not surprise me to read about a total lack of trust, professionalism and integrity displayed by ‘big players’ in British industry, it is truly depressing.

    I feel really sorry for the staff having to put up with poor level of management in the UK today. It disadvantages every one of us and more importantly holds this country back.

Author Profile Picture
Cath Everett

Freelance journalist and former editor of HRZone

Read more from Cath Everett

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