Almost one in five (19%) UK workers plan to leave their jobs this year, a new survey has revealed.

Conducted by the Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM), the survey shows that nearly a fifth of workers plan to leave their jobs in 2014, while almost a third (31%) are unsure about whether they will stay in their current role.

Of those who are leaving, the vast majority would like a similar (40%) or a different (39%) role at a new company, while one in ten would like to start their own business. Almost one fifth (16%) of the people aiming to leave their job, said they were moving on because they do not feel valued by their current organisation.

Charles Elvin, Chief Executive of the Institute of Leadership & Management, said: “The New Year is always a popular time for workers to look ahead and think about how they can progress. Our findings show that UK employees are beginning to reassess the job market and look into a range of new opportunities, from starting a new job to developing a new business.

“The survey illustrates just how crucial it is that workers feel valued in the workplace. As many workers like to make a change at this time of year, it is important that organisations adapt to this phase by offering the chance to learn new skills and opportunities to progress wherever possible.”

The findings also revealed a clear desire to improve the standards of leadership in organisations, with almost one fifth of UK workers (19%) hoping to improve their own leadership skills this year and 17% hoping for more transparent leadership from their boss.

However, the most popular New Year’s resolution was to achieve a better work/life balance, with almost a third (31%) choosing this as their main priority for 2014. The top five New Year’s resolutions for the workplace were:

  1.  To improve work/life balance (31%)
  2. To get more training or a new qualification (28%)
  3. To become a better manager (13%)
  4. To be more productive at work (11%)
  5. To develop better relationships with colleagues (4%)

Charles Elvin continued: “The survey reinforces the importance of leadership to workers in the UK, and in particular the desire for greater transparency in the workplace. This should be an important consideration for both current managers and those looking to improve their leadership skills.”

He added: “It’s also interesting to see that almost one third of people are hoping to improve their work/life balance in 2014. This suggests that those organisations with the flexible working practices to provide greater balance will find it easier to retain and attract talented staff.”

Neil Pickering, director of Kronos comments: “The research from the Institute of Leadership & Management highlights the importance of engaging the workforce in the New Year. At the start of the new year, many employees start thinking about their career paths and future, so organisations need to ensure employees remain engaged with the business. Rather than viewing this ‘fresh start mentality’ as a threat, businesses should look to use this as a hook to increase engagement. If managers can utilise this window of opportunity, the business can often quickly maximise productivity and increase efficiency.

“In order to harness this ‘fresh start’ mentality, businesses should take on board previous concerns from the year before and look to improve both staff morale and deployment. It’s vital that employees still feel part of the overall organisational culture, so managers must create a culture of confidence amongst the workforce and reiterate the value added by all workers. Simple steps such as setting clear targets and objectives for each employee, giving employees greater variety to the roles they perform and setting clear and measurable employee goals and objectives can help demonstrate the part that each person plays in the organisation, thereby improving motivation and performance.”