More than half of HR professionals believe their company culture has deteriorated over the past year, while burnout has increased by almost a quarter year-on-year.
Research by worldwide talent acquisition firm LHH also found that poor company culture, a lack of training opportunities and increasing employee burnout were undermining efforts to retain top talent.
Three quarters (77%) of HR directors said their company’s leadership team now saw employee retention as an important issue. In a 2021 survey, only 59% agreed this was the case.
The research was based on responses from HR directors and employees working at organisations with 500 employees or more across a range of sectors.
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When asked about the biggest challenges for staff retention in 2023, HR directors agreed that cost of living increases for employees (31%), being able to offer competitive salaries (28%), and the impact of the economic downturn on the business (25%) were the main threats. However, 62% also said that, where possible, their company had explored options to redeploy, retrain or reskill employees in order to avoid redundancies over the past 12 months.
More than half (56%) of HR leaders agreed that company culture had deteriorated over the past 12 months and 59% of those surveyed also said that incidents of employees suffering burnout have increased. In 2021, the corresponding figure was 48%. A similar proportion (57%) of HR directors felt that employees had less loyalty to their employer than they did a year ago.
When it came to measures to improve retention, employees told researchers that flexible working arrangements, competitive benefits and pay and clear progression opportunities were the most important. But HR directors said that one third (32%) of business leaders (32%) were making no efforts to improve their benefits packages for existing staff and there was an even greater disconnect between workers and their employer when it comes to career progression, training and development.
Although 79% of HR directors said ensuring employees received the right training was important to leadership teams, just one third (35%) of employees said they were regularly asked what training they felt they needed to excel and progress.
Despite the downturn in the economy, talent is scarce and it is important companies hold on to their best employees” – JC Townend, LHH
Nearly half (42%) of business leaders also reported receiving an increasing number of complaints from employees who were denied requests for training and development.
JC Townend, CEO, at LHH Career Transition & Mobility UK & Ireland, said economic conditions would take some of the pressure of businesses worried about retention. “Leaders can capitalise on the fact that employees may be more likely to remain in their current job due to the economic downturn and use this time to implement measures that may further improve retention, such as creating clearer paths for promotion and investing in career progression.”
“Now is the time for HR teams to be proactive and build their retention and mobility strategies. Despite the downturn in the economy, talent is scarce and it is important companies hold on to their best employees,” Townend added.
LHH, part of the recruitment specialist Adecco Group carried out a survey of 501 HR directors in companies with more than 500 employees and more than 2,000 18-plus white collar employees in companies of the same size.
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