Why Retention is More Important Than Ever Right Now

January 17th 2022 | Posted by Phil Scott

In recent months, the UK job market has hit record highs. From August to October 2021, the number of vacancies rose to 1,172,000.

Altogether, 15 out of 18 sectors showed record vacancy levels so the picture is positive for jobseekers across the board.

These figures are reflected in ONS data which also indicated that vacancies were mostly driven by resignations as opposed to dismissals. This is an indication of exactly how much of a jobseeker-friendly market exists as people switch roles to improve their career path.

Why a jobseeker friendly market makes retention measures vital

This movement of the workforce makes it vital for employers to do all they can to retain the services of valuable employees. Failure to do so makes it more likely that top performers will move on to greener pastures where they can secure better packages and an improved working environment.

HR managers have a central role to play in ensuring retention is a central focus of the business. They have a responsibility to put forward and help manage methods of retention in order for the business to retain the services of valuable employees.

Methods of retention for HR managers to consider

There are various aspects to consider when embedding methods of retention in an organisation. Factors to consider include:

  • Salary and bonuses – whilst remuneration is not the only consideration when an individual is deciding whether to remain in a role, it often plays an important part in the decision. For this reason, keeping up to date with current salary expectations should form a part of any retention strategy.
  • Management ability and style – a lack of managerial skills in an organisation is likely to lead to team members becoming disillusioned. So, creating top-quality managers is a valuable investment for an organisation.
  • Flexible working – more than ever, employees expect some flexibility in working hours and locations. Providing solutions such as part-time and part year contracts as well as hybrid working is likely to lead to improved retention rates.
  • Development opportunities – career progression is not just about promotion opportunities. Providing employees with the chance to develop through learning or developing new skills can also be pivotal in convincing employees that remaining in their current role is a positive career choice.
  • Culture – a positive culture in an organisation makes it less likely that employees will want to move on. For example, people want to feel valued and supported in their role. This makes features such as inclusivity, diversity, and high-quality communications valuable tools when it comes to retention.

Given the current buoyant job market, businesses need to continue working hard to retain the services of valued members of their workforce. HR managers play a pivotal role in this by informing policies around salary, managerial quality, flexible working, staff development opportunities, and culture. In doing so they enable businesses to maintain a workforce that helps them to remain profitable and succeed in both the short and long term.

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