Drive Away Your January Blues

Posted in : HR Updates on 28 January 2015
Ian Dowd
NorthGate Arinso Human Resources
Issues covered:

Drive away the January blues and keep your talent!

As the workforce gets younger, it gets more mobile. Millennials see jobs more as tours of duty than long-term career opportunities. The outcome is that any time where it makes sense for them to move jobs, it will be at least a consideration.

This time of year is a prime example. The January Blues is something that businesses have always dealt with; a new year, a new start at a new job. People have a look what’s out there – 40 per cent of the workforce in fact. Combine this time of year with an inherently more mobile workforce and it’s easy to understand how a predicted 4.3 million people will leave their jobs in 2015, that’s a 22 per cent rise compared to 2012.

So what impact does this have? We all know that we need to motivate and retain top talent, but what’s the fallout if they leave? Those that move cost HR departments a total of £23bn – that’s £30,614 on average per employee lost. That’s a big cost for one person, as soon as several people leave, it’s a potentially damaging total.

If you would like to compound that further, companies are going to get better at recruiting. As the UK nears full employability, ie those who work are in jobs, competition will be fiercer. No one can afford to lose two out of every five of their staff, but the capabilities of other organisations to tempt employees away will strengthen.

What to do

The pertinent question, then, is how can companies try to avoid so many employees leaving during this peak period for resignations. The key is understanding what motivates people to stay.

A recent PWC study showed that flexibility of role, career progression and staying connected with people are the three top factors. We would suggest that engagement as a more general umbrella is the key to happy, motivated employees.

This means easy to use processes for the simple stuff, like booking holidays or checking payslips. Beyond that, it means creating a structure in which the employee feels supported and can see a clear path to the things that they want, for example career progression.

Stepping to the other side of the fence

People are looking to move during January, so there are opportunities to recruit, as well as an imperative to retain top talent. This means understanding what people are people looking for from their potential employers. Surprisingly, this is not always pay.

When employees were asked by the Institute of Leadership and Management what their hopes are for 2015, 59 per cent said more chance of progression. Then 56 per cent said pay and 50 per cent a more interesting job role.

Knowing this, and then having the HR structure to support the executive of career progression and job role creation, is how companies can bring in more new people.

Personnel development, motivation and retention is a balancing act of engagement with employees and maintaining an understanding of what people want. The companies that can be flexible will win.

This article is correct at 14/10/2015

The information in this article is provided as part of Legal-Island's Employment Law Hub. We regret we are not able to respond to requests for specific legal or HR queries and recommend that professional advice is obtained before relying on information supplied anywhere within this article.

Ian Dowd
NorthGate Arinso Human Resources

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