Tomorrow's employees will be less loyal and more demanding, according to new research from recruitment and HR consultancy Hudson.
The findings reveal the rise of a new 'Me Generation' of employees who are putting themselves and their own quality of life first and their employer second.
Nearly half of the 2500 surveyed (42%) claimed to be loyal to themselves ahead of their employers, with the majority expecting to change jobs, and even career, several times throughout their working lives.
One in two (48%) stated that what they do is more important than who they work for, with 63% of employees preferring the idea of becoming 'serial careerists', gaining experience from a number of different business sectors and disciplines.
While employers value experience and seniority, three out of four employees would rather be respected and rewarded on the basis of their talent, rather than levels of experience and seniority.
Employees are also becoming increasingly conscious of the ethical and moral values of prospective employers. The survey reveals corporate reputation to be a decisive factor when choosing an employer - one in two employees (50%) take notice of a company's corporate values when selecting their next role and nearly two thirds (61%) believe it is important for a company to have strong ethical values and cultivate a diverse work force.
In spite of the decrease in loyalty and increased demand for more flexible working patterns, employees are keen to play a bigger part in the development of the company and their own progression within it. Three quarters of respondents would like to be more involved in corporate decision-making. Currently, only a quarter feel able to criticise the way their company is run, and 58% are nervous about expressing an opinion that diverges from the corporate viewpoint.
John Rosen chief executive of Hudson UK commented: "This study shows that UK employees are putting their own needs and quality of life first and expecting employers to create a new working environment to accommodate them.
"Employees across all professions want a better quality of life, greater flexibility and a more democratic working culture. Employers will need to look at their own practices sooner rather than later if they are to win the battle to retain their best employees and attract the brightest talent."