The Great Reshuffle: 9 in 10 UK companies fail to retain employee talent

As recent research reveals, around a quarter of employees are actively searching for a new job; employees highlight the key to effective retention.
According to the latest ONS data, job vacancies in the UK rose to a new record high of over 1.2 million last year. However, following this surge in employees resigning or considering moving companies — dubbed the Great Resignation — a recent employee survey revealed that 90% of UK companies fail to do enough to foster staff talent retention.
Instead of the usual elaborate benefits packages or stylish office spaces, employees identified three simple key ‘wants’ for employers to target. When employees were asked what companies could do to improve staff retention, they underlined:

● Salary — 60% believed they were paid below industry-standard – meeting this would retain their service
● Work/life balance — 53% have a subpar work/life balance – addressing this would increase retention
● Career progression — 49% said there is a lack of career progression in the company – more opportunities are needed

The ‘UK Employee Support and Retention Survey’, conducted by virtual events and in-person team building company Wildgoose, gathered employee insight from 133 UK companies. It sought to identify what employees want from their company to retain their services, how companies could better support it’s employees day-to-day, and which elements of onboarding for new employees could be improved.

The study reveals that company size also has a bearing on employee retention. For example, the SME employees surveyed were 42% more likely to start a new job within the last year than those working at an enterprise company.
Plus, large companies (100-999 employees) have the longest way to improve retention efforts, with just 7% of their employees feeling their employer suffices to persuade them to stay.
At enterprise level (1000+ employees), 30% want more support in tackling workplace burnout – the highest figure for the three types of companies.
One in three employees believes their career has stagnated and don’t see any opportunities for progression at their current company. Also, over a quarter of employees are currently looking for a new job.

Reporting on these findings, Wildgoose managing director Jonny Edser commented:

“Over recent months, it’s become increasingly clear that companies need to start doing more to increase their levels of employee retention. As many of us return to our usual workplaces and in-person onboarding processes can begin again, there has never been a better time to step up the standards.
“The first few months of an employee’s time at a workplace should be focused on guidance, training, direction, and values. Yet it’s not only work-related subjects for which new employees should receive support. Casual catch-ups and wellbeing check-ins can go a long way to help new staff feel welcomed and engaged with their role. At Wildgoose, we continue to offer both in-person and virtual team-building experiences, helping companies to encourage colleague friendships and ensure everyone feels happy.”

Tracey Hudson, executive director at HR Dept says:

“To encourage employee retention, line managers should be conducting regular 1:1 meetings — monthly or quarterly is fine. Questions should be asked around what they enjoy to determine which aspects of their employment they value and what benefits are important. Directors should use this feedback to form future benefits strategies, and line managers should use this knowledge to help employees get to where they want to be in their career plans. If employees can see there’s a path for them; then they’ll be more committed.”

What are you doing to sustain your team? It’s now more critical than anything else. If you want to compete in the world of “the Great Reshuffle,” we can help you assess whether your company offers this deeper level of support to workers.

Expert Human Resources Advice for SME‘s covering Worcestershire, Gloucestershire, Warwickshire & the Cotswolds.
01386 751 740 [email protected]

Image: Getty