17 December 2014

What does increased employee confidence mean for HRs?

Research shows that 61% of employees are ready to look elsewhere for employment in 2015. What can you do to keep them at your company?

Recent research indicates that candidate confidence is on the rise, with 61% of employees planning to find a new job in 2015. The figures, which came from Hays’ latest UK Salary and Recruiting Trends report, show that 27% of these employees are looking for a bigger salary and 26% are frustrated by a lack of future opportunities at their current workplace.

Employee retention is key to a successful business. So how can you keep your staff satisfied?

The answer: keep them rewarded, recognised and appreciated. Here’s how to keep that two-thirds of your workforce from looking for employment elsewhere...

1. Create an agreeable work/life balance

Absolute insistence on your employees being at their desks Mon-Fri from 9-5 can be harmful to your business.

A recent Millennial Branding report found 45% of Millennials will choose workplace flexibility over pay and WorldatWork found that 65% of organisations say flexibility has had a hugely positive impact on employee motivation and satisfaction

Your employees are working to live, not living to work. Here’s how you can factor that into their workload and make your business feel like an attractive long-term proposition:

  • Flexible working – Allow your employees to balance work and life (yes, their daughter’s orchestral recital is important). You could consider flex vacations – Virgin, Netflix and Zynga are all operating profitably under such schemes.
  • Remote work – Allow employees to work from home. This means they can deal with life events without having to take weeks off or quit their job entirely.
  • Allow mourning employees the time they need to recuperate and recover.

2. Develop and promote your staff

Make sure you provide a framework within which employees feel they can advance and succeed, especially those individuals who really stand out. (You can’t afford to lose them.)

Training and education, challenging assignments and opportunities for cross-training provide your employees with the opportunity for both professional and personal growth.

If your employees feel like they can’t grow, then they’ll do the opposite: retreat into a daily grind. There’s nothing that gets people looking for opportunities elsewhere faster.

3. Engage your employees

Don’t let your employees grow bored. How?

If someone wants to get involved with something, let them. Allow your employees to work outside of their conventional roles, and provide opportunities for them to share their knowledge via training sessions and presentations. You could also have experienced employees mentor newer members of staff.

The worst thing you can do is allow your employees to get stuck in a 9-5 grind. New opportunities and challenges are the best way to keep your employees from checking the job ads.

4. Communicate

If an employee doesn’t know what their future holds, they’re likely to start trying to sketch one out for themselves. To prevent this you must be incredibly clear about each individual’s expectations, earning potential and performance feedback.

Make sure you include employees in any discussions regarding their career, where possible. Tell them how the company is performing and any major changes coming up down the road – employees don’t want to be blindsided by bad news, after all.

Also, remember that communication is a two-way street. Allow your employees the opportunity to speak their mind freely, and solicit feedback whenever possible. Ask what’s frustrating about their role, what they want to be doing but aren’t, and what their hopes are for the future. This shouldn’t be a one-time meeting, but an ongoing process.

5. Make sure you’re hiring the right people

Retention isn’t just about what you can offer the employee – it’s about getting the right people in the first place.

Make sure you’re seeking people who have a long-term and invested interest in your business. Any candidates who are viewing your company as a stepping stone in their career should be avoided.

Also, bear in mind that the best CV doesn’t always translate to the best employee. A bad team player can cause friction and demotivate your staff, even if they’re a sales hotshot. That can be more damaging to your business than any short-term sales lost.

The right employees will create a positive working environment, which will in turn increase their co-workers’ desire to stay at the business – after all, the company they keep can play a big part in the decision of whether or not to move on.


Sign up to our blog updates