Giving staff the opportunity to grow

Retention of staff and talent development has never been so important with the number of employees looking for a new job at an all-time high: around one-in-four employees plan to leave their current employer, and no fewer than 71% of disengaged employees and 62% of those dissatisfied or feeling under pressure at work are looking to change jobs.

Given the high number of people either looking to change jobs or thinking of leaving their employer, it has never been more important to focus on staff retention, and that means giving them reasons to stay with you rather than head for pastures new.

The latest Randstad Award report – the annual survey on employer branding – shows ‘lack of career growth opportunities’ only just behind ‘compensation too low’ as the main factor leading to job changes. For older employees (over 45), ‘poor leadership’ also featured significantly, while those under 25 were more affected by ‘loss of interest in job’.

The most important overall driver to stay with an employer was ‘good work-life balance’ (topping ‘competitive salary’), particularly for those over 45 and slightly more for women than men.

Such shifts in the way people want to work, and what they expect from employers, were illustrated in a legal profession survey which found that only 37% of assistants were interested in becoming partners, at least partly due to the long hours and extra workload.

By 2030 there will be, for the first time, four generations working together, many of them valuing different aspects of their job. In 2014 the Randstad Award report revealed the most attractive retention factor for younger people was ‘more learning/development opportunities’. For older staff it was a more relaxed work schedule, with fewer and/or adapted working hours and, significantly for both generations, a ‘coaching role for younger colleagues’ (or mentoring) were mentioned by 17% as motivators to continue working.