65% of Irish workers are planning to ask their bosses for a raise.
More than half of Irish employees are likely to switch to a new employer in the next 12 months, according to new research from PwC.
Less than six out of ten (56%) Irish employees feel that they are fairly rewarded financially for their work (Global: 62%). The survey reveals that almost two-thirds (65%) of Irish employees plan to ask their employer for a raise in the next 12 months (Global: 73%).
“Employees are not just looking for decent pay, they want more control over how they work and they want to derive greater meaning from what they do”
With soaring energy costs and other inflationary pressures, it is not surprising that employees plan to ask for more money. Over half (57%) said that they are just about able to pay all of their bills every month with very little left over or are struggling to pay their bills (Global: 49%).
The findings were revealed in PwC’s 2022 Global Workforce Hopes and Fears survey of 52,195 employees in 44 countries, including Ireland.
Globally, pressure on pay is highest in the tech sector where 44% of workers surveyed plan to ask for a raise and is lowest in the public sector (25%). Nearly one fifth (17%) of Irish employees said that they are ‘extremely or very likely’ to leave the workforce permanently or temporarily in the year ahead – similar to global counterparts (17%). Just a quarter of Irish employees (25%) reported to be ‘very satisfied’ with their job (Global:28%).
While an increase in pay is a main motivator for making a job change (Ireland:76% and Global:72%), wanting a fulfilling job (Ireland: 73%; Global: 69%) and wanting to truly be themselves at work (Ireland and Global: 67%) round out the top 3 very important things employees are looking for. 45% of Irish employees prioritised being able to choose where they work (Global: 47%).
“There is a tremendous need for businesses to do more to improve the skills of workers, while being conscious of the risk of polarisation if opportunities to develop aren’t provided right across society,” said Ger McDonough, partner at PwC Ireland.
“At the same time, employees are not just looking for decent pay, they want more control over how they work and they want to derive greater meaning from what they do. These are linked: by acquiring skills, employees can gain the control over the work they are looking for. Leaders have to adapt to build the teams needed to successfully deal with the challenges and opportunities of today and those yet to come.”
Is hybrid working here to stay?
More than half (52%) of Irish respondents said that their job could not be done remotely (Global: 45%). This needs to be borne in mind when developing hybrid work models, as these employees may be far less likely to find their jobs fulfilling, but often play a critical role.
According to the survey, 44% of Irish employees are currently working in a hybrid model (Global:55%). Employees have mixed views about whether their employer will provide work options they like in the year ahead.
But hybrid working is here to stay. In the year ahead, 52% of Irish respondents would prefer some mix of in-person and remote work (Global: 65%). But they reported at the same time that more of their employers (64%) would expect them to work in this way (Global: 63%).
Like global counterparts, Irish employees have specific concerns when it comes to technology in the workplace. For example, a sizeable proportion (38%) said that their employer is not teaching them relevant technical or digital skills needed for their career (Global: 39%). A similar proportion (38%) said that their employer is not investing in innovative technology. At the same time, nearly three out of ten (27%) are concerned about their role being replaced by technology in the next three years (Global: 30%).
Discussing social issues and politics at work
The survey found that 63% of Irish employees discuss social and political issues with work colleagues frequently or sometimes (Global: 65%), with the number higher for younger workers and ethnic minorities.
While business leaders are sometimes nervous about people bringing these potentially polarising issues to work, the survey highlights that the impact is net positive. Key positive outcomes include understanding colleagues better, creating a more open and inclusive work environment and increased empathy.
It shows that employees have a particular interest in their employer’s impact on the environment and society with the majority feeling that these areas are very important. However, less are confident about their employer’s actions in these key areas. For example, less than half (42%) of Irish employees are very confident that their employer is transparent about their organisation’s impact on the environment and about addressing diversity and inclusion (45%); only 53% are very confident that their employer is transparent about protecting employee health and safety.
Only 18% of Irish employees said that their employer helps them minimise the environmental impact of their job. This is 5% less than the global average (23%) which is also low.
“Diverse workforces will inevitably bring differences of opinion about major societal issues into their workplaces,” said Laoise Mullane, Senior Manager, PwC Ireland.
“People and Organisation. Leaders need to ensure that these discussions can benefit teams rather than dividing them. The role of employers isn’t to tell workers what to think, but to give them a voice, choice and safe environment to share thoughts, listen and learn about how these issues are impacting their colleagues.
“Our research indicates that employees, especially those that are younger or a member of an ethnic minority, feel the benefits of engaging in respectful and tolerant conversations,” Mullane said.