Brits want pay rises and bosses to ask how they are as cost of living bites

Workers in the UK believe that being asked how they are feeling by their boss is as important as getting a pay rise, according to a new study.

Research by accountancy technology firm Sage found that British workers want to feel valued in the workplace and, as the cost of living crisis continues to bite, they want to make sure their employer cares about their mental health.

According to the poll, 57% of employees at small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) believe that their boss taking time to ask how they are feeling is just as important as getting a pay rise.

As bosses continue to struggle to keep hold of staff or can’t afford a pay rise amid rising costs, half of the workers polled (50%) say they are currently thinking about quitting their jobs and 27% say they don’t feel valued by their employer.

With SMBs contributing 61% of UK jobs and 52% of GDP, entrepreneur Charlie Gladstone believes the key to growing the UK economy lies in a positive working environment.

He said: “If people are happy, they are productive and productivity is the key to any successful business.

“This whole notion of reprimanding and screaming at people to get them to perform is a deep-rooted issue within the business industry which is too far focused on the idea that you need to be cruel to get respect.

“I believe in gentle leadership and not being a ‘Trump style’ boss. He bossed the whole nation as terrible employees and look where that got everyone.

“Eroding trust to ultimately show you are the big dog only breeds an unpleasant atmosphere.”

Mr Gladstone, whose businesses include a shop and an AA award-winning village pub, added it is important to create a pleasant work environment.

The 58-year-old father said: “I’m not saying we should all subscribe to a hippy manifesto, but humans need praise and encouragement like they need oxygen.

“Someone recently said I should employ a Chief Happiness Officer, which I thought was frankly nuts until I stopped to think about it, and really, it’s simplicity at its finest.

“My ethos centres around the fact that every person is someone’s mother, sister, daughter, brother, or uncle- just because I am the ‘big cheese’ does not make me any more important than anyone else.

“If businesses, big and small, want to survive this power shift within the workplace, people must come first.”