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World – Hays: Businesses must improve retention plans while also preparing for leavers

20 February 2019

A recent global survey by international recruitment firm Hays found that 78% of workers are planning to find a new job this year.

Hays CEO Alistair Cox, explored the reasons employees chose to leave and how organisations can improve their retention plans to hold onto talent. Hays surveyed 4,500 workers from over 100 countries/regions, with 78% of respondents revealing they intend to find a new job in 2019.

Cox shared insights as to why employees were making the decision to leave their current place of work, these included remote workers feeling increasingly disconnected from their workplace and employees seeking more flexibility in their working hours. Other reasons may include burnout, finding no meaning to their job or simply falling out of love with their place of work.

“The idea of a job for life is a thing of the past, as life expectancy continues to increase, and people are expected to work longer, it is only natural that they seek variety in their work,” Hays stated. “As a result, employers must anticipate and plan for the changed long-term career plans of their employees.”

Cox states that employers cannot carry on ignoring the changing career needs of their employees if they wish to retain their key talent.

He commented, “There are key changes that you as a business should start thinking about now, to help limit the risk of losing your top people in the future. After all, if you don’t give your people what they need to function well in the evolving world of work, quite frankly, they’ll find another company that does.”

Cox’s advice to businesses on how they can boost their retention levels, includes supporting employee’s personal passions, building flexibility into contracts and in turn promoting the options available to employees internally, and lastly, by encouraging internal mobility to allow employees to move between different teams and roles within the organisation.

However, he added that despite organisations best efforts some employees will still chose to quit in some situations.

Cox added that if an organisation is unable to convince an employee to stay, then it is the responsibility of the employer to ensure that the exit process goes smoothly, and ensure they are able to find a suitable replacement as soon as possible.

He noted that when a person leaves a company it can sometimes be swept under the carpet in order to not attract too much attention and an employer can disengage from the situation, however Cox says this would be a mistake.

“Remember, this is a time of transition, particularly for the remaining members of your team, so it’s important you manage the exit process well – put as much effort into saying goodbye to an employee, as you would when welcoming a new employee into your business,” Cox said.

Cox advises that organisations must ensure they are having conversations with their employees about their career paths and ambitions, as well as exploring other opportunities, even if they are outside of their current place of work. This will allow businesses to manage the situation and plan for any employees who are intending to leave in the near future.

“People will leave our businesses at some stage, that’s pretty much a given, but if we are upfront and open in the way we approach career development conversations from the outset, we will, a. signal that we are invested in their career development, and b. be far better equipped to understand their individual motivations and ambitions,” Cox said.

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