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To stay or not to stay

12 September 2023

Story by
Genevieve Bland Writer - The HR World

Missing employees and worker shortage or labour shortages as as employers are looking for needed workers and workforce job vacancies concept on a puzzle background in a 3D illustration style.

According to a new study, 70% of executives are prioritising retention issues. 

In the wake of ‘The Great Resignation’ and ‘quiet quitting’ – indicators of volatile workforces – the issue of retention is becoming crucial if businesses are to prosper. The research, from Personio, also suggests that 66% of recruiters see acquiring talent as a top challenge for their enterprises, and 62% of employers across Europe are grappling with recruiting skilled workers, while employees themselves  are far more willing to change roles.

Changing work landscape

The pandemic shattered the traditional view of labour, making the idea of being in the office every day obsolete. This changing work landscape comes at the same time as the emergence of a generation of workers who have new demands and are determined to work purposefully for a company with values aligned to their own. 

Businesses are struggling to adapt to this new phenomenon, and another study by Gallup has shown that globally 6 in 10 employees are now ‘quiet quitting’ their jobs – doing the bare minimum their job demands.   

Pete Cooper, Director of People Partners & Analytics at Personio, says that showing appreciation and giving feedback is paramount to keep employees engaged: “People are at the centre of all businesses, and employee satisfaction levels determine the quality of work and ultimately the long-term success of a business. Therefore, it’s vital that businesses understand what drives engagement levels at work. Employees value consistency and an employer who listens to and invests in them on a long term basis will succeed in the long run.

“To successfully retain and maintain a motivated and engaged workforce, businesses should ensure they are recognising and appreciating their employees by giving regular feedback,” Copper adds. “Quality performance and career discussions can help leaders identify overworked or frustrated employees and ensure they get the appreciation and career progression opportunities they require.”

Copper also says that involving employees in conversations about the future of the business and their plans can improve engagement and make employees feel their ideas and opinions are valued. “Leaders should invest in the long-term development of their employees through training opportunities that support learning and help them to gain new skills. In turn this will improve satisfaction levels, productivity and will ultimately boost retention,” he says.

New Workforce  

Jobs are not a means to an end anymore. The life of a majority of the modern workforce is different from older generations, meaning their reasons to work are different as well. Gen Z are not looking to provide for their family when they enter the job market. Broadly speaking they do not marry before 30 years old, if they do at all, and owning a house is, for most, seen as a unattainable dream.  

Understanding the workforce’s new demands and needs is the challenge numerous companies face as Gallup’s research found that 76% of Britain’s are not engaged at work with 16% actively disengaged 

Sam Smith, Founder and former CEO of finnCap Group, believes employees need to feel a personal attachment to their company: “Retention of your good people is a long term game of getting buy in to the company, buy in to the culture of the firm.

“This is where an inclusive culture stands out as the key to retaining good employees and the work to get there can take time,” states Smith.

“Getting buy in from your team comes in a variety of ways. Firstly there needs to be an exciting vision set and well communicated – it needs to relate in some relevant way to each individual. Once the vision is known, core values are established and shared amongst the team and you live those values and you have done the work of making those values relatable you need to form a real connection to the business. This needs to be both an emotional and financial connection with the vision.”

Smith adds: “I think the main challenges for employers is dealing with things early – someone will have thought of leaving way before it becomes an issue so a long term focus on culture and people is really important. Spending the time is key.

“Engagement in the digital space given new working patterns is much harder but it revolves around good internal coms adapted to the individuals and the way they like to receive information,” says Smith.

You can find out more about retention issues today by joining our webinar at 11am: Retention: Holding on to The Talent You Need (thehrworld.co.uk)

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