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LONDON, March 12, 2020

Gartner Says Employee Business Confidence Plunges Amid Economic and Workplace Uncertainty

Employee confidence in U.K. business conditions has fallen to its lowest level on record on the back of Brexit and rising fears around the coronavirus, according to Gartner, Inc.

Gartner’s latest Global Talent Monitor report found U.K. business confidence fell to an index score of 44.5 in 4Q19, a decrease of over 11 index points from 4Q18. The figure puts the U.K. more than 6 index points below the current global average.

“Employers in the U.K. are facing several challenges as they look to restore the confidence and trust of their employees,” said Brian Kropp, chief of research for the Gartner HR practice. “On top of ongoing concerns around the results of Brexit trade negotiations, employees are now also worrying about the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. Given all that is occurring, businesses could face a confidence crisis if they fail to address these issues in the workplace.”

Despite employees feeling less confident in near-term business conditions and long-term economic prospects, 45% of employees reported a high intent to stay at their organization in 4Q19, up from 42% in 3Q19. Active job-seeking behaviour fell to 14.6%, well below the global average of 20.8%.

Employees Leave Jobs Due to Poor Manager Quality

According to the most recent Global Talent Monitor report, Manager Quality is now the most significant factor employees consider when deciding to leave a company. More than one-third of U.K. employees who recently changed jobs ranked Manager Quality as the most dissatisfying attribute of their previous employer.

“Now more than ever, managers face enormous pressure — their number of direct reports has increased and many managers report being increasingly removed from their employees’ daily work,” said Mr. Kropp.

Work-Life Balance (34.6%) and People Management (32.2%) ranked second and third as drivers of attrition. Meanwhile, only 23.4% of employees reported Compensation as a factor for leaving their previous job, despite its ranking as the top reason employees cite globally.

Bad Managers Hamper Employee Development

Gartner research found that 45% of managers don’t feel confident in their ability to develop the skills employees need. Additionally, managers lack time to coach their direct reports, spending only 9% of their time on developing their direct reports.

The lack of ability and time to focus on employee development is an issue, given that a recent Gartner survey found that more than 70% of HR executives believe that managers should get more involved in coaching employees compared with three years ago.

Organizations need to support their leaders so they can devote time to coach and develop team members. The companies that are most successful at developing their employees have focused on cultivating connector managers, who are able to connect employees to the right people and resources at the right time. In fact, connector managers boost employee performance by up to 26% and more than triple the likelihood that their employees will be high performers.

About Gartner’s Global Talent Monitor Survey

Gartner Global Talent Monitor is a quarterly survey that captures how employees and job seekers around the world feel about the economy, their personal prospects and what motivates them, or doesn’t, when it comes to work.

Global Talent Monitor data is drawn from the larger Gartner Global Labor Market Survey that is made up of more than 40,000 employees in 40 countries. The survey is reflective of market conditions during the quarter preceding publication.

About Gartner ReimagineHR

Gartner experts will provide additional analysis on HR trends at the Gartner ReimagineHR Conference taking place August 17-18 in Sydney, September 21-22 in London and October 26-28 in Orlando. Follow news and updates from the conferences using #GartnerHR.

About the Gartner HR Practice

The Gartner HR practice brings together the best, relevant content approaches across Gartner to offer individual decision makers strategic business advice on the mission-critical priorities that cut across the HR function. Additional information is available at http://www.gartner.com/en/human-resources/human-resources-leaders. Follow news and updates from the Gartner HR Practice on Twitter and LinkedIn using #GartnerHR.

About Gartner

Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT) is the world’s leading research and advisory company and a member of the S&P 500. We equip business leaders with indispensable insights, advice and tools to achieve their mission-critical priorities today and build the successful organizations of tomorrow.

Our unmatched combination of expert-led, practitioner-sourced and data-driven research steers clients toward the right decisions on the issues that matter most. We are a trusted advisor and an objective resource for more than 14,000 enterprises in more than 100 countries — across all major functions, in every industry and enterprise size.

To learn more about how we help decision makers fuel the future of business, visit gartner.com.

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