Retaining Top Talent in a Competitive Market
As the workforce gets younger, it gets more mobile. Millennials see jobs more as tours of duty than long-term career opportunities. The outcome is that any time where it makes sense for them to move jobs, it will be at least a consideration.
This time of year is a prime example. The January Blues is something that businesses have always dealt with; a new year, a new start at a new job. People have a look at what’s out there – 40% of the workforce in fact. Combine this time of year with an inherently more mobile workforce and it’s easy to understand how a predicted 4.3 million people will leave their jobs in 2015, that’s a 22% rise compared to 2012.
So, what impact does this have? We all know that we need to motivate and retain top talent, but what’s the fallout if they leave? Those that move cost HR departments a total of £23bn – that’s £30,614 on average per employee lost. That’s a big cost for one person, as soon as several people leave, it’s a potentially damaging total.
If you would like to compound that further, companies are going to get better at recruiting. As the UK nears full employability, competition will be fiercer. No one can afford to lose two out of every five of their staff, but the capabilities of other organizations to tempt employees away will strengthen.
What to do
The pertinent question, then, is how can companies try to avoid so many employees leaving during this peak period for resignations? The key is understanding what motivates people to stay.
A recent PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) study showed that flexibility of role, career progression, and staying connected with people are the three top factors. We would suggest that engagement, as a more general umbrella, is the key to happy, motivated employees.
This means easy to use processes for the simple stuff, like booking holidays or checking payslips. Beyond that, it means creating a structure in which the employee feels supported and can see a clear path to the things that they want, for example career progression.
Stepping to the other side of the fence
People are looking to move during January, so there are opportunities to recruit, as well as an imperative to retain top talent. This means understanding what people are looking for from their potential employers. Surprisingly, this is not always pay.
When the Institute of Leadership and Management asked employees what their hopes are for 2015, 59% said more chance of progression, 56% said pay, and 50%a more interesting job role.
Knowing this, and then having the HR structure to support the executive of career progression and job role creation, is how companies can bring in new people.
Personnel development, motivation, and retention are a balancing act of engagement with employees and maintaining an understanding of what people want. The companies that can be flexible will win.