Merrill Lynch Investment Managers is set to introduce flexible working to cut its staff turnover to below 10 per cent.
Head of HR, Karen Hoggard, told delegates at a conference in London last week that it can take up to 12 months to replace a senior employee and cost up to £200,000.
To combat these costs the investment managers are about to start a pilot for flexible working in the UK. It has proved successful in the company’s America arm.
Commenting on the US pilot scheme Hoggard said, “Staff retention has gone up and revenue has not gone down.”
The flexible approach will include home working, compressed hours and job-sharing.
Hoggard said, “There is no reason why an employee cannot work three days at the office and two days at home, communicating with the office via email.”
She added, “With the current transport difficulties, this demand is only likely to increase.”
The aim is to reduce the company’s staff turnover rate from 11 per cent to 8 per cent. Hoggard added, “I would not want it reduced any lower than that as all companies need an influx of bright new employees with new ideas.”
Hoggard also told delegates at the Annual City Recruitment Conference at the Baltic Exchange that the bank’s training for line managers also needs improving.
She said, “The principal reason why people leave a company is because of their immediate manager. Great managers are the constant factor in all great companies. A great manager is someone who says: ‘I’ll help you be more successful than me.’”
By Paul Nelson