Businesses more concerned about staff retention than Brexit
Retention of staff is the issue du jour for HR professionals.
According to research by Alexander Mann Solutions, businesses are more concerned about retaining and developing their staff over the next six months than they are about the results of the Brexit negotiations. The research, which polled 3,000 senior HR professionals, found that 23% felt retaining top staff without large financial incentives was their priority concern, while just 9% identified Brexit as their top worry.
A recent report by PwC supports these findings, revealing that 81% of UK CEOs intend to amend their people strategies in the near future, with more than half (51%) set to rethink their HR policies. Faced with an uncertain political climate, businesses are looking to prioritise their staff.
This move comes in light of a survey by Ipsos Mori that revealed 58% of senior executives (from a sample of the FTSE 500) believe their businesses have already experienced negative effects from the referendum.
The connection between Brexit and staff retention
Director of Consulting and Innovation at Alexander Mann Solutions, Jeremy Tipper, said: “It’s somewhat surprising that having spoken directly to organisations, the biggest headache they are predicting in the immediate future is at odds with the many news reports we see each day.
“Despite the avalanche of media attention and continuous emphasis on the potential impact Brexit could have on businesses, very few firms have placed this at the top of their list of concerns in the coming months. However, there is an unquestionable link between Brexit and the acute focus on talent. Many UK employers are heavily reliant on talent from the European Union and further afield. If access to this talent becomes more difficult, if not impossible, keeping the talent you have will become even more vital to the success of UK employers.”
Perhaps firms are looking to address challenges they can tackle, such as staff retention and advancement, rather than an issue such as Brexit, which they cannot directly influence.
The millennial workplace
This move towards employee engagement comes at a time when more millennials are in the workplace than ever before. Addressing this changing workforce, Tipper adds: “The fact that so many organisations have identified the need to keep top employees without hefty financial implications demonstrates a real move towards true employee engagement – one where the chance to make a change, work flexibly and access multiple development opportunities are more important than monetary rewards.”
To a certain extent these changes to the priorities of businesses can be attributed to the changing demands of the workforce, created in part by the influx of millennials. Although when it comes to Brexit, we’ll have to wait to see how it impacts businesses, companies looking to invest in their employees and working to retain top talent can be no bad thing.
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