British businesses might want to take action to improve their workforce management standards and boost employee engagement, following warnings of a forthcoming increase in staff turnover.

Management consultancy Hay Group said a "global talent exodus" could be on the horizon as growth returns to many economies around the world.

A study conducted by the company in association with the Centre for Economics and Business Research forecast that the number of people leaving their jobs will climb to 161.7 million in 2014.

This would mark an increase of nearly 13 per cent compared to 2012, following generally flat levels of employee turnover in recent years.

Looking to the next five years, Hay Group predicted that turnover rates will increase from 20.6 to 23.4 per cent, bringing the total number of global departures to 192 million by 2018.

Mark Royal, senior principal at the management consultancy, pointed out that many workers have been reluctant to leave their jobs during the economic downturn.

"But as the economy recovers and global employment becomes less volatile, dissatisfied workers are a significant flight risk for organisations across the world," he added.

"To keep high-value employees from leaving in search of more favourable work arrangements, firms must address engagement and enablement challenges."

In an attempt to identify the most significant factors in employee retention, Hay Group analysed a database comprising information from over 5.5 million workers across the globe.

The research concluded that confidence in leadership, career development opportunities and autonomy are among the job aspects that boost staff engagement and commitment, along with a supportive work environment and adequate compensation.

People planning to stay with their current employer for more than two years rated their organisation over 20 percentage points more favourably in these areas than workers planning to leave in the same period.

A separate study released by Hay Group earlier this year indicated that a quarter (27 per cent) of employees with companies that are not considered supportive of work-life balance intend to quit in the next two years.

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