Bitten By The Staff Retention Bug !

 

It has been widely acknowledged off late, that staff retention in the UK has become an area of serious purview and discussion in the economic and business circles. It is indeed becoming ever more apparent that we, as individuals, are never a part of some loose knit society of a bygone era, but standing on a plain of concrete progressive thinking, where every voice is a civilized voice, to be heard, understood and deliberated upon for a more justifiable human existence. It is in this context that the UK as a country should be no less conscious of such a destabilizing factor like high employee turnover in the arena of business and commerce.

High turnover occurs when employees discard their old jobs in favour of new ones or simply remain nomadic by nature. However such a nature of moving from one job to another is not of their making alone, but to a very large extent significantly influenced by their working environment as well. As per the CPID (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development) survey conducted in the UK it is seen that highest levels of turnover is often seen in private organisations (20.4%). Again, further surveys have revealed that high turnover is more typical of retailing, hotels, catering, call centres and among low paid private sectors. The public sector has a turnover of 13.5%.

The main reason that were cited were better opportunities elsewhere, job insecurity, work place bullying, unhealthy competition ,family issues and health factors. This obviously affects staff turnover and as per the survey the number of employees who have retained their current jobs for a period of five years or more has fallen abysmally from 24% in 2006 to 20% in 2007. Turnover levels vary from region to region in the UK. In areas where it is particularly difficult to get skilled people, staff resignation can be even more damaging to organisations than elsewhere.

In order to cope with pressures of retaining staff a series of measures have been suggested. Among these the most prominent ones are realistic job previews at the time of recruitment, making line managers more responsible, flexibility in individual preferences and working hours, job security, treating staff as individuals and being open to their ideas and suggestions, work life balances, encouraging creativity, environmentally friendly working place, treating people fairly and defending ones organisation and imbuing achievement motivation to the staff and charting long positive goals for their future.

Among the next generation of ideas meant especially for IT sectors, call centres, financial  and telecom sectors are training of employees by e-learning rather than the traditional classroom methods, remote working via the internet where possible, easy to deploy portal solutions and giving career breaks.

Notwithstanding the fact that staff retention could be greatly enhanced in the industries and organisations in The UK with the help of the above measures, a great deal of work and support has to come from the ministerial levels too. For this a comprehensive plan and package to staff as well as addressing of economic grievances of the businesses in the UK has to go in line with any of the above measures to pave way for a long term solution of the problem.

Richard Reid is the founder of Pinnacle Proactive, Specialising in theEmployee Assistance ProgramStress ManagementStaff Retention & Absenteeism. Take a Proactive Approach to Growing Your Organisation & its People. For more info visit http://www.pinnacleproactive.com

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