Retaining staff in China

Companies in China are struggling to retain their staff, a new survey by Mercer Human Resource Consulting has found. With a booming market, qualified professionals are now hot property and companies must pay premiums to keep them within their organisation.

by Mercer
Last Updated: 23 Jul 2013

The survey reveals that 54% of companies surveyed had experienced an increase in their turnover of professional staff, and 42% had witnessed a similar rise in support staff turnover. The average tenure for 25-35 year-olds has now fallen to an average of one to two years, down from three to five years last year.

"When employees threaten to walk out of the door," says Brenda Wilson, principal at Mercer, "many companies respond by throwing more money at them. They are now starting to realise that they need to be more sophisticated in their approach to employee attraction and retention."

This includes 'soft' benefits like flexible working, meaningful career opportunities, healthcare and other perks. Offering staff overseas assignments and individual career plans, offered respectively by 42% and 51% of companies, are deemed the best tools to promote employee loyalty. "[This] demonstrates a willingmess to invest in staff, and it can pay dividends," says Wilson.

The incentive for companies is obviously to retain valuable skilled staff, but also to avoid spiralling recruitment costs. The survey calculated that the average cost of replacing staff is about 25% to 50% of annual salary.

Source: China Employee Satisfaction Attraction and Retention Survey 2006
Mercer Human Resource Consulting

Review by Emilie Filou

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