Do More Job Seekers Add Up To More Difficult Staff Retention In 2015?

In a previous blog post, I said about  how 2015 could be a good year when it comes to the number of United Kingdom jobs available out there for job seekers. As an employer, perhaps your company is expanding and has created more jobs as result. This is good news for you and good news for the British economy as a whole as more and more companies create jobs.Staff Retention 2015 - Thumbs Up Or Down

However, more jobs and career opportunities in the UK, coupled with increased confidence, can be a double edged sword for many employers. While you might have more jobs to fill, as an employer, you could also be facing a problem with staff retention. Increased confidence in the jobs market means a more ambitious workforce; a workforce that could be planning a move to pastures new. Is your company prepared for the fact that, in 2015, some of your team could be planning a move elsewhere, either to a different company or perhaps to go self-employed?

More appetite and more ambition for new challenges

With the concept of the job for life being a thing of the past, employers already face challenges with retaining their most talented staff but this problem could be set to increase in 2015. According to this recent survey conducted in the new year by the Institute of Leadership and Management, over one third (37%) of workers are planning to leave their jobs and move on to pastures new in  2015. This figure is up from 13% in 2013 and up from 19% in 2014. Almost double the amount of employees are planning a move in 2015 than in 2014 – and some of the people in those figure could be members of your current staff.

What Causes People To Change Jobs And Careers?

New Year Syndrome

Well, first of all, the arrival of the new year is always going to be a time when people finally bite the bullet and change jobs. New Year’s resolutions see us all feeling positive about being proactive in making changes for the year ahead. We hit the gym to get fit, we change the foods we eat to get healthy…and new year could also be the time we make that career change we’ve been promising ourselves for the last six months. That is more likely to happen in the current economic climate where people are feeling more confident about their future prospects.

But what are the reasons that have revealed themselves in the Institute of Leadership and Management survey? What are the factors that employers need to be taking into consideration to maintain their staff retention levels in 2015? Interestingly perhaps, an increase in salary is not top of the wish list for employees when it comes to job satisfaction and therefore sticking around with the same company. Let’s take a look at what those in UK jobs and careers are looking for in 2015.

Employees are looking for more opportunity for progression

With 59% of those surveyed saying opportunity for progression is what they most want in their jobs and careers, this was the number 1 wish for workers. In 2015, employers need to make sure they have systems in place to develop staff and move them up or sideways through the company. This could improve staff retention at the firm. Implementing graduate programmes and apprenticeships, for example, could be a structured way of doing this so that staff can see their own progress and have an idea of possible promotion or pay rise upon completion of their particular programme.

Employees are looking for higher wages

56% of those people surveyed said they would like to see higher wages. We all know high wages are a good draw for people and they could be good for staff retention, too, when combined with other factors such as the one mentioned above. Higher wages for more responsibility within the company can be a good way for employers to not only harness the best young talent but in also making sure that talent doesn’t want to go looking elsewhere for more attractive opportunities. As wages are set to increase in 2015, perhaps your company is already addressing this issue.

Many employees would like a more interesting job

While not every task in the workplace is going to be mindblowingly interesting – we all know there are those menial tasks that have just got to be done – employers could go a long way to making sure their staff don’t go walkabout in 2015 by taking action to make employees more fulfilled in their work. 50% of the people surveyed said they would like a more interesting job. As an employee, are you passing on the right tasks to the right people? While your bright young stars definitely need to learn the ropes and understand that basic tasks need to be carried out on a daily basis, are they also being kept fulfilled and stimulated within their role? And this leads nicely onto the next item on the wish list for employees.

Employees feel unappreciated or under valued in current role

25% of employees said they feel unappreciated or under valued in their current role. With more of a feel good factor about the jobs market and therefore, more ambition and confidence amongst employees, this could be a factor which determines whether or not your best young talent decides to get out there and go job hunting for something better.

Situations like this could arise in large companies where those in higher positions might seem like a faceless entity to younger or inexperienced staff starting out in entry level roles. What is your company doing to ensure staff feel valued and that their hard is not going unnoticed? This is perhaps where small and medium enterprises could have a slight advantage over larger companies in retaining staff because the personal relationships between staff and management might be easier to maintain and staff feel like a valued member of a team that contributes to the success of the company.

Staff feeling unappreciated can even go right down to part time jobs for students. Make your student recruits feel valued and appreciated in their part time jobs or seasonal jobs and they could be your next graduate star who chooses to stay on with your company once they have completed their course. I have have written in the past about how employers can benefit from having jobs for students and young people such as holiday jobs and seasonal jobs.

Some employees are unhappy with current management

30% of workers surveyed said they were unhappy with the current management at the company they work for. With surveys such as this, it can be difficult to separate the issues out as mutually exclusive. For example, staff could be unhappy with management because they feel undervalued or unappreciated, as per the previous item on the wish list. But, as a company, if you are looking to maintain your staff retention levels throughput 2015, this could be one of the issues that needs addressing within your firm. Indeed, are managers happy in the role they are in. A company wide strategy for staff retention which includes making sure that staff at all levels feel valued and have sufficient training to carry out their roles could go a long way to preventing dwindling numbers of employees within your firm. Again, this point leads nicely on to the next.

Employees would like more training and development

In the survey, 27% of people asked said they would appreciate more training and development within the company and this includes training and development even in their current role. Even if this is in the company’s policies, employees need to question whether staff really are being trained in the practical skills necessary for them to carry out their roles to their full potential. Some staff could feel like they are unable to give their all in their current role because they haven’t got the skill set to do so.

For young people and school leavers, apprenticeships could provide this structure, as we said above. But even for student jobs, whether that’s part time jobs or seasonal work, investment in training can help staff retention levels and, if your company recruits lots of temporary staff for events jobs, for example, those in temporary jobs who have received meaningful training and development may be more likely to return when you have more vacancies available. This reduces your training costs and can be an effective part of your recruitment strategy.

Some employees would like more flexibility

These days, many companies, and perhaps your company have already introduced more flexibility into their work day with regards to flexitime, days where staff can work from home and job share options. 18% of those surveyed said they would like more flexibility within their current job. If your company is already offering flexibility in work life this can not only be a plus point in your current recruitment strategy but also for your staff retention levels.

Some employees would like better parental leave options

At 3% of those surveyed saying they would like better parental leave options, as with the flexibility issues mentioned directly above, many companies could be already addressing those issues in an effective way.

Looking forward to the rest of 2015…

Companies are always going to experience staff moving on to pastures new at some time or other but this year could see more than usual taking the plunge. Many of the points listed above can be merged with others rather than them being standalone issues but there is still lots to take into consideration for employers in 2015 if they are to reduce the number of their staff deciding to bite the bullet and taking off to look elsewhere for other challenges.

Effective recruitment strategies such as essential interview questions need to be in place so that the most suitable employees for your company are taken on in the first place. Once staff are in their roles, an effective system needs to be in place to make sure those employees feel valued and want to continue working for your company for some time to come and this is true of all types of roles from part time jobs for students to apprenticeships for school leavers and more senior roles throughout a company.

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