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Jonathan Greenhalgh Technology & IT, Construction / Mechanical & Electrical...

How to have "that" awkward conversation

Woman worried about conversation with boss

If you are unhappy in your job and are looking to leave, your employer shouldn't be finding out when you are handing them your resignation letter. If you have any issues that need addressing, it is probably better to have that "awkward conversation" than let things brew until you're at the point of leaving. You never know; you could speak to your employer, and they may be able to make changes.

According to the CIPD Good Work Index, a survey of more than 6,000 UK workers found that one in five workers (20%) say it's likely they will quit their current role in the next 12 months, compared with 16% in 2021.

Of those who are looking to quit their job: 

Around a third (35%) are moving for better pay and benefits elsewhere

27% want to increase job satisfaction

24% are looking for a better work-life balance

23% want to do a different type of work

The CIPD Good Work Index measures job quality across seven different dimensions and finds that at least six of these influence workers' intention to quit: pay and benefits, employment contracts, work-life balance, job design and the nature of work, relationships at work, and health and well-being.

These are all things that a conversation with your employer could address, so before you pull the plug and jump ship, consider the following.

Pay & Benefits

If you have concerns about your pay or benefits package and feel it needs to be reviewed, address the situation early. According to a survey by, only 37% of workers have ever asked for a raise, with 70% of those asking being successful.


Everyone strives for a better work-life balance, but it can be tricky if you and your manager don't share the same perspective. Before you talk to your boss about it, sit back and think about the root of the problem. Is your personal life suffering due to unrealistic work expectations or self-imposed? Could you be overworking?

Job design & nature of the work

Job design is the process of establishing employees' roles and responsibilities and the systems and procedures that they should use or follow. The primary purpose of job design, or redesign, is to coordinate and optimise work processes to create value and maximise performance. If you feel they could change something to make your work more fulfilling, now is the time to speak to your manager and let them know.

Lack of training & Development

According to Totaljobs, two in three UK workers have changed jobs due to a lack of training. If your employer hasn't put anything in place, have a conversation about it. Do your research and give your boss as much information as you can upfront so that they can thoroughly review everything. Look into when and where the training will take place and funding options. Let them know the benefits that this training will bring not only to you but to the business.

Relationships at work

Whether it is a difficult boss or coworker, negative relationships in the office can sometimes be impactful enough to make you want to leave. Before you hand in your notice, there are some steps that you can take that could turn the situation around. Speak to your boss and get to the root of the problem. Once you've gotten to this, you can start to look at ways to improve the relationship.

Health and well-being

The well-being of staff is affected by work-related factors, including workload, autonomy, relationships, team support and the working environment. If you think your role impacts your health and well-being, you must address it with your manager as soon as possible. Don't limit this to physical well-being, be sure to reach out if you feel you are struggling with your mental health.

In this piece, we have only scratched the surface of how to approach all of these topics, but the underlying message for each remains the same. Communication is key. By having what could be perceived as an awkward conversion could lead to all of your workplace issues being solved.

With all that being said, if you are looking to make your next move, Employment Solutions is here to help. Get in touch on 0161 839 5353, visit our jobs page, or fill in the form below and leave us a message.

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