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Survey shows high job satisfaction among charity workers but many seeking new roles

Melanie May | 15 December 2021 | News

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More than half of charity workers are likely to look for a new job in the next 12 months according to a survey of some 2,031 UK employees by employee insight platform New Possible.

According to its What Workers Want survey, the UK average is 40%. 

New Possible’s survey also found that the job satisfaction rate across workers in the charity sector is one of the highest – 77%, compared to a UK average of 72%. Employees working in the creative arts and business management industries are among the most satisfied, while those working in social care are the least satisfied. 


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When asked what they like least about their current role, respondents said that unhealthy work cultures and poor leadership have the biggest impact on their likelihood to stay with an employer. A poor work-life balance, high workload and unfulfilling work were also key reasons why many are planning to look for a new job.  

Top five reasons for leaving: 

  1. Unhealthy culture 
  2. Poor leadership 
  3. Poor work-life balance 
  4. High workload 
  5. Unfulfilling work 

Nate Harwood, Founder of New Possible, said

“The thought of so many charity workers handing in their notice and leaving within the next 12 months will be truly terrifying for many HR managers. But it’s clear that in the wake of Covid-19 many of us are unprepared to put up with toxic work cultures and incompetent managers. The upshot is that employers must do more to keep their best people, and this starts by listening to what they really want.”

Survey respondents were also asked about what benefits matter most to them when looking for a new job, with flexible hours (67%), working from home (50%) and more holiday (38%) coming out top.  

The findings also suggest that high levels of job satisfaction do not always result in high employee retention. For example, although employees working in the charity sector are among the most satisfied, they’re also the most likely to search for a new job. Conversely, those working in social care are the least satisfied and one of the least likely to look for a new job. 

The survey found that job satisfaction is highest among those aged 18-24. Satisfaction is lowest amongst those aged 35-54, and workers approaching retirement are least likely to consider leaving their job. 

Harwood said:

“Gen Z and millennials are leading the Great Resignation but are also among the most satisfied. The truth is that many young workers are simply unwilling to settle for the kind of working lives that their parents and grandparents experienced. This represents a major challenge to many employers who are struggling to attract and retain workers.”