Movers, Shakers, Long Term Waiters

Andy and Alice sit down to discuss the average expected time for role changes and how long employees expect to stay in a role before they move job or company.  

In the United Kingdom, the dynamics of employee turnover and job mobility have been evolving in response to various factors, organisational cultures, and individual career aspirations. While there isn't a uniform expectation across all sectors and demographics, several trends offer insights into how long employees in the UK anticipate staying in their current roles or transitioning to new opportunities. 


Generational differences

Did you know that gen-Z workers expect to change careers three times more than any generation? 

Traditionally, the concept of 'job for life' was prevalent, especially in industries like manufacturing and government. However, with the advent of technology, globalisation, and a shift towards a knowledge-based economy, the landscape has transformed. Today, professionals often prioritise personal growth, work-life balance, and alignment with organisational values over long-term stability in a single role. 

One significant factor influencing job tenure is generational differences. Millennials and Generation Z, comprising a considerable portion of the workforce, tend to value career progression and diverse experiences. They are more inclined to switch roles or companies if they feel stagnant or undervalued. Conversely, older generations may exhibit greater loyalty to their employers, driven by a sense of commitment and financial security. 


How culture plays a part

Organisational culture also plays a pivotal role. Companies fostering a culture of learning, innovation, and employee development tend to retain talent for longer durations. Offering opportunities for skill enhancement, mentorship programs, and clear career paths can incentivise employees to stay engaged and committed. 

Moreover, economic conditions and industry trends influence job mobility. During periods of economic stability and low unemployment rates, employees may feel more confident exploring new opportunities, leveraging their skills for better compensation or enhanced benefits. Conversely, economic downturns can lead to job insecurity, prompting individuals to prioritise stability over change. 

The gig economy and remote work have further blurred the lines between traditional employment models. Freelancing, contracting, and part-time arrangements provide individuals with flexibility and autonomy, challenging the conventional notion of long-term employment with a single organisation. 

Additionally, factors like job satisfaction, work environment, and organisational reputation significantly impact employee retention. A positive workplace culture, inclusive policies, and effective leadership contribute to employee morale and longevity within a company. 

While statistics may vary across industries and demographics, surveys suggest that the average tenure in a role in the UK ranges from three to five years, with younger cohorts exhibiting shorter durations. However, these figures are subject to change based on evolving societal norms, economic conditions, and technological advancements shaping the future of work. 

The expectations regarding how long employees in the UK stay in the same role or move companies are influenced by a myriad of factors, including generational differences, organisational culture, economic conditions, and individual preferences. As the workforce continues to evolve, adaptability and continuous learning will remain crucial for both employers and employees navigating the dynamic landscape of employment.