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    ‘Growing numbers of UK retail staff want to quit’

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    Job satisfaction of UK retail staff has fallen in the last twelve months, as new data reveals that shop workers are now more likely than other sector employees to be considering leaving their roles in 2024.

    According to Quinyx’s 2024 State of the Frontline Workforce report, 56 per cent of retail workers want to quit their jobs – up from 49 per cent in 2023.

    The data indicates a downturn in employee engagement and loyalty across the sector. In 2023, shop workers were most likely to say they felt valued at work than those in other industries, including hospitality and transport, reporting greater career opportunities and pay rises.

    This year, low pay is a key factor in retail staff dissatisfaction – 46 per cent of employees wanting to leave are seeking a higher salary, while 41 per cent say being undervalued by their bosses is their biggest driver for quitting. 71 per cent of workers say higher pay would make their job more attractive.

    In a global comparison, however, the study shows job dissatisfaction is much lower among UK shop staff than their international counterparts. In Germany, 75 per cent of retail workers are looking to quit; 64 per cent of shop staff in The Netherlands and 61 per cent of US employees feel similarly unhappy at work.

    The data also highlights the extent to which UK retail employees are unable to “leave work behind” and switch off; almost two thirds (61 per cent) are contacted about work by managers and colleagues via WhatsApp, with 91 per cent thinking about their jobs once they’ve clocked off.

    In addition, a quarter (24 per cent) of UK shop staff feel negative about the future of technology, such as AI and automation, in the context of their work – higher than all other sector employees surveyed. The majority (73 per cent) fear technology will eliminate jobs, while 36 per cent are concerned about malfunctioning equipment and subsequent frustration for customers and colleagues.

    Toma Pagojute, chief HR officer at Quinyx, says, “In an unfavourable financial climate, it’s understandable that staff might consider alternative options with better pay, which is why it’s vital for company leaders to consider all elements of the employee experience – fair pay, making staff feel valued, career support and progression, minimal stress.

    “Our research suggests an increased blurring of personal and work-related communication through the use of WhatsApp – which can encourage an ‘always-on’ culture and exacerbate stress. There can be data protection implications too, which employers need to be aware of.

    “It’s certainly worth reviewing company communication channels, ensuring technology is benefiting everyone. And we shouldn’t forget the value of ‘old-fashioned’ face-to-face chat and discussion in helping employees feel valued – meaning they’re less likely to look elsewhere.”

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