MT EXPERT: How to keep your staff

It's new year, and with the recovery now firmly in process, many employees are on the look-out for a new role. Investors in People chair Valerie Todd gives some tips on making them think twice about changing jobs.

by Valerie Todd
Last Updated: 03 Feb 2014

The end of the recession may be great news for businesses, but the economic upturn also means dissatisfied workers now have more confidence to look elsewhere.

Recent research from Investors in People shows almost a quarter of British workers are unhappy in their current job. Many have been biding their time during the recession and not actively job-seeking because they're worried about job insecurity.

In fact, figures show that over 14 million people are considering moving jobs in the next year. What’s more, a recent CBI report suggests that more than half of the UK’s businesses expect to create new jobs next year, so there are real opportunities to lose staff to rival companies - which means businesses need to start investing in their people or face a potential exodus of talented staff.

While it's clear many workers are keen to move, it isn’t just a heftier pay packet luring them away. Our research has shown poor management is a leading cause of unhappiness at work, and many employees feel their skills and talent would be better valued elsewhere.

Companies must recognise this very real risk at losing talented workers, and act now to make this situation an opportunity to better their business, by showing current and potential staff that they are valued.

Our research showed a good reputation as an employer is attractive to potential new employees, citing this as one of the main factors they look for when job searching. Simple things such as involving staff in the decision making process, and ensuring all voices are heard - through staff forums and feedback sessions – can really make employees feel valued, involved in, and committed to their companies.

That said, there's a flip side to all this: people moving job can also be good news for employers: businesses can capitalise on the staff exodus by positioning themselves as good employers, and attracting talented staff from rival firms.

With workers saying they look for a prospective employer who invests in training and offers a chance at career development, there are easy steps a company can take to show it cares about its staff. This new year, make sure your company is well placed to retain its talented staff, and attract all those looking for a better employer.

- Valerie Todd is chair of Investors in People and Director of Talent and Resources at Crossrail

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