The time to manage and motivate your e-business staff is now, during the downturn, not when it is too late, says a recent survey
Companies should be acting now to put the correct retention strategies in place to identify and retain their best talent, says Mercer Human Resource Consulting after conducting a survey which examined recruitment and retention issues, together with pay and benefits in the UK e-business sector.
It shows that e-business staff will again be in major demand when the economy improves. Brenda Wilson, senior consultant at Mercer says: "Many e-business staff have been laid off in the economic downturn. The tide has turned and firms have a sea of talent to choose from.
"They should beware that, when the economy picks up, however, these employees could again be in hot demand," she adds.
Seventeen organisations took part in the 2002 UK E-talent Compensation survey, most of which were parent companies with more than 5,000 employees. It found that, in the next 12 to 18 months, providing opportunities for career development is perceived to be the most crucial factor in the battle to keep hold of staff.
"Training in this sector is particularly important, because technology changes so fast and staff need to ensure their skills are up-to-date," says Wilson. "Companies that invest in career development are more likely to retain staff."
As well as the importance placed on training, 64 per cent of organisations thought that having work-life policies in place helped retain staff and more than half (55 per cent) felt that offering decent benefits kept employees engaged in an organisation. More than half also said bonuses were an important retention tool and they would become increasingly significant in the future.
When it came to attracting staff, 64 per cent of companies said base pay was an important issue, while over 36 per cent said bonuses helped attract staff. The feeling was that the emphasis could move slightly away from this to variable pay in 12 to 18 months time, with 25 per cent believing bonuses would be a vital part of the reward package.
In the period 2001-2002, average salary increases in e-business was four per cent for executives and general employees compared to an average 5 per cent in 2000-2001. Next year it looks set to fall further to around 3 per cent. The median rate for a top technical e-busines