With resignation on the increase it makes good business sense to focus on retaining the talent you already have.
Recent research from Oxfordshire-based management consulting firm, The Focus Group finds that 60% of the 950 executives polled will be looking to jump ship on the economic upturn, thus creating a major void in 450 organisations. And the available evidence suggests that rates of employee attrition are already rising.
Resignations have increased over the past year despite growing fears over job security, new data has found. The 2010 National Management Salary Survey carried out by Celre, and published by XpertHR and the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), has revealed that in the year to February 2010, resignations across the UK’s labour market stood at 4.7%, compared to 4.5% 12 months ago.
The survey, based on data collected from 197 organisations covering 43,312 individuals, also implied that employers were failing to persuade staff to stay, with requests for ‘internal transfers’ as an alternative to leaving dropping to 3.6% from a high of 5.8% last year. Overall the labour turnover rate climbed to 13.6%, up from 12.4% in 2009.
These statistics reflect a growing disconnect between employers and their employees. It is alarming to learn, for example, that in the latest Global Workforce Study from global professional services company, Towers Watson, which covered 20,000 employees from private sector organisations across 22 countries only 39% of those surveyed, believes their senior leaders are trustworthy and 30% believe their organisations did not treat their employees fairly in the last 12 months.
These figures give cause for concern. And they are particularly worrying in the current business environment, where organisations should be focused on building from within. Unemployment remains high, having recently risen above the 2.5 million mark, and there are many people actively looking for work, so employers will often have the apparent luxury of a large pool of candidates to choose from every time they advertise a job. In reality, however, this represents an excess of people rather than of talent. The truth is that there is a shortage of individuals with the necessary skills to fill existing job openings.
This makes it particularly important that organisations concentrate on retaining and developing the proven talent that they already have. Focusing on internal talent makes sound business sense. High staff turnover levels can be very expensive to a business. So how can organisations address the sense of alienation many employees feel in their current roles and ensure that they retain their best staff? As this article indicates, better employee engagement is key.
A unified approach
The truth is that, if individuals are to remain loyal and motivated, they need to feel that they are being listened to and that their growth aspirations and financial goals are within reach. Without actionable career development plans, dissatisfied staff will look for other opportunities that offer them their desired growth.
To avoid these scenarios becoming a reality, employers need an employee engagement strategy that encompasses all staff, including managers, strengthens morale and ultimately increases productivity and staff retention.
To make certain that they have the right people with the right skills in the right jobs in order to advance their business goals, organisations must follow a unified approach to talent development. They must first ensure that key components, principally around learning and performance management, are in place. Second, they must develop a unified process around those components, enabling them to build an effective talent development strategy.
By closely linking modules within performance and learning management systems and helping to combine otherwise isolated learning and performance tasks, businesses can help drive enhanced organisational productivity and reach their core objectives more quickly and effectively.
This approach helps drive employee engagement by translating valuable performance reviews and ratings into career and leadership roadmaps and then following those roadmaps to bridge skills gaps and implement true succession plans. It further engages employees by providing clear objectives to work towards, recognising achievement and helping to show the employee how they are positively affecting the business by aligning their objectives with those of the organisation itself. And, as organisations are starting to appreciate, better employee engagement ultimately leads to better business results.
Erik Finch is a talent development specialist for SumTotal Systems.