The UK Labour Market is currently a very volatile environment as many employers experience both recruitment and retention issues due to a perfect storm of circumstances. According to the website Reward Gateway, there are numerous sectors with turnover rates of close to, or over, 20%. Manufacturing, Retail and Healthcare are suffering the greatest churn of staff, which given the impact of the pandemic on these sectors is not a major surprise. Some staff in these sectors worked tirelessly throughout the last two years, due to the nature of the roles in these sectors working from home was often impossible and so staff either endured high levels of stress at work or were placed on furlough when workplace opening was restricted. The repercussions of this are now being felt as staff have either decided not to return to work at all or have decided to look elsewhere.

The pandemic also gave workers across all sectors the time and opportunity to step back and understand what they actually wanted from life, and in a recent survey from Personio 38% of employees said that they would be looking to change roles in the next 6 to 12 months. Employers must therefore understand that they need to do more to engage with their staff, discuss career and personal challenges and aspirations and actively try and find out what their staff are thinking and if they can prevent resignations.

Realistically what can employers do though to improve retention? There isn’t a one size fits all approach as every employee will have their own reasons and motivations for moving on but by making a positive impact in the following areas you will cover many of the major factors.

  1. Induction & Onboarding – First impressions count, if you set the right tone with a new starter you will build buy in and loyalty from day one.
  2. Pay & Reward – Can you review salaries, could you improve simple benefits like holiday entitlement, do you actually understand how your staff like to be rewarded? Not everything will cost your business money but it might give your staff something that they value.
  3. Wellbeing – Think about how you look after staff and their physical, mental and financial wellbeing, find out what their worries are and offer support and interventions if possible.
  4. Communication – Connecting with your team has always been important but with the increase in remote working, employers need to make sure that staff are engaged, that key messages are delivered and that they have an opportunity to have regular discussions about how they are feeling and receive feedback about their work.
  5. Training & Development – When employees can see a career pathway and opportunities to grow professionally and personally they are more likely to be engaged and stay with you.
  6. Flexibility – A recent Ipsos survey found that 64% of staff felt more productive with a flexible approach to work and 30% would consider looking for another job if their employer did not offer flexibility in working arrangements. Look at what staff want, how that can be married with your working arrangements and try your best to offer some degree of flexibility that promotes a positive work-life balance.

Even if employers don’t place a high value on staff communication and engagement and completely ignore all of the above then the reality that retention problems are costing their business money should be the wake up call they need. According to the same Personio survey referenced earlier, the average cost of potential talent exodus per small business is £13,595 and businesses can ill afford such costs given the current economic climate.

Do you have questions about retention?

Give us a call at CUBE HR on 01282 678321, we’ll be happy to advise you and we have policies and templates available to meet every HR need.

Why not check out our blog on a similar topic Top 10 Employee Retention Strategies.

We also have a YouTube channel with loads of handy videos.