Warning to employers on retaining talent as workers look to move

Employees are once more on the move as the number of people seeking new positions has risen to the highest level since spring 2011, according to a survey of nearly 3,000 employees.

The CIPD/Halogen Employee Outlook reveals that 24% of employees in the private and voluntary sectors, and 23% in the public sector, are looking for a new job. Just 24% of employees report that their organisation has a freeze on recruitment, down from 28% in spring 2013 and 29% in winter 2012.

The research revealed that the intention to look for a new job increases with job dissatisfaction (62% are looking for a job, compared with 10% who are satisfied), disengagement (71% compared with 9% who are engaged) and those facing pressure every day (45% compared with 19% who never feel under excessive pressure). More than 3 in 5 (61%) said that an opportunity to progress within their role is important to them, but one in four employees (27%) said that they had never had a performance review at work.

Claire McCartney, Research Adviser at the CIPD, said: “Talent is on the move again, signalling a decline in fear around job security as the impact of the economic downturn begins to lessen. However, this should also signal a warning to employers to up their game when it comes to retaining key talent – if they aren’t monitoring their employees’ progression and providing opportunities to talk about career development, they may well risk losing some of their most talented workers, who might well vote with their feet and take advantage of a somewhat improved labour market outlook. The private sector is particularly at risk of this, where there has been a steady decline in employees’ job satisfaction.

“Now more than ever, employers need to focus on ensuring their line managers are equipped with excellent people management skills, so they can play their role in fostering open and transparent cultures where people feel they can make a valued contribution and get recognition for it.”

Donna Ronayne, Vice President of Marketing at Halogen, said: “These findings demonstrate that organisations who want to keep top talent need to assess how well their talent management programs are addressing employee needs and the needs of the organisation. Do managers have the tools and training to coach employees effectively? Are they giving employees meaningful feedback and recognition on a regular basis? Do employees know what is expected of them and how their work contributes to the organisation’s mission and success? Are managers engaging employees in discussions about career development opportunities? If organisations can improve their ability to execute in these areas, they can improve employee accountability and engagement, boosting job satisfaction, retention and productivity.”

Overall, the survey shows that job satisfaction has not fallen since earlier this year, but is down on previous years. Employees in the voluntary sector continue to be the most satisfied with their jobs, while job satisfaction levels in the private sector have declined steadily over the last few quarters.

The CIPD/Halogen Employee Outlook also tracks overall employee engagement and and shows little movement on earlier this year, although levels are down on last year.

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