Holding on to talent at New Year flight risk

It probably comes as no surprise to learn that more than one in five (21 per cent) employees are planning on changing their job this year. 

The New Year often brings new resolutions and thoughts of shaking things up and changing job can often be top of the list.

What is surprising though is that those planning on changing job this year are not jumping on the New Year’s resolutions bandwagon; instead, our research found that those planning on leaving have been considering doing so for an average of 11 months.

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This statistic in particular shocked us for many reasons. Firstly, 11 months is a long time to be unhappy in a role. While this is particularly sad for the individual, for the organisation it suggests that potentially these employees are not as engaged with the organisation as they could be, impacting on productivity and overall business success.

Employees’ deciding to move on from organisations is not something new, and sometimes their departure can be healthy for businesses, bringing in fresh talent with new ideas. However, companies may be losing key individuals that they wanted to maintain.

For learning and development professionals, there is a key role to play here. Securing a better salary and benefits (48 per cent) will always top the list of why employees plan on changing jobs, but this is closely followed by the desire to have greater development opportunities (44 per cent) or change what they are currently doing at work (32 per cent).

Engaging with employees and finding out what they would like to achieve this year and in the years to come, as well as creating a plan of action to help them achieve their goals is crucial in keeping hold of talent. Training and development professionals should try and support managers with the tools they need to hold such career conversations – helping them to understand what the business can offer and how this can be communicated to employees.

Training and development does not need to be costly either, as running an internal mentoring scheme allowing employees to learn from one another’s expertise can be an effective way to keep individuals learning and developing, for example.

Equally, if employees are yearning for change, there could be redeployment opportunities or options for individuals to work on key projects. We are always surprised with how few companies offer such an option.

Many businesses are keen to hold on talent, yet let them walk away as opposed to keeping them and their knowledge base by moving individuals around the business. For employees, it provides them with the much yearned for change of trying something new, working with different people and departments and for businesses, they maintain talented individuals who know the company inside out and will continue to be an asset.

Conducting surveys among staff can also be useful here too – finding out what employees really want from their careers at the business. But as with all similar interventions, quality follow ups are needed.

Whether these are conducted by learning and development professionals, or direct line managers, it is important to get things moving in the right direction. Implementing simple training and development opportunities could make the difference from maintaining talent to seeing them go to your competitor. 

About the author 

Bev White, is the Managing Director of Penna Career Services​


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