According to a recent Investors in People study, 47% of workers in teh UK will be looking for a new role in 2018, with 49% of the 1000 surveyed citing poor management as the main reason for looking for a new role.

In their annual survey of UK workers, this statistic, puts the spotlight on the impact of management behaviour and employee satisfaction with work, similarly 44% of respondents stated:

a small pay rise was the one thing their employer could do to increase happiness in their job, a 3% decrease on last year, whilst 10% of people said a simple ‘thank you’ from a manager would be enough to increase their contentedness in their current role.

Impact on retention

With unemployment at its lowest level since 1975, the need to retain a team has never been more important, especially if the supply of labour in to the UK becomes restricted due to the impact of Brexit in 2019.  In the HR world, retention and engagement have been two highly over used buzz words, but continue to be apt for employers of all sizes, especially those in the SME sector, where it can be harder to attract talent without offering high pay.

The top three factors that drove engagement in 2017 were:

  • 33% Flexible working
  • 33% A good team
  • 34% Enjoyable work

With the top three factors that employees least like being:

  • 20% lack of career progression
  • 20% Working hours
  • 23% Pay

Download the report

Planning ahead

None of this is new news, but acts as a reminder that if we think things are tough now in the labour market, they are likely to get worse – on one hand brexit will cause a tightening in the labour market, the fall in the value of the £ makes the UK less attractive for overseas workers who send wages home, which has led to a fall in net migration.  Brexit will reduce the freedom of movement in the labour market, and even if all the bad stuff doesn’t happy and the economy grows, an increase in business will naturally make the labour market more competitive, so either way the need to keep talent will be vital.

So knowing this now, as we all do, means organisations large and small have a chance to do something about it, as engagement isn’t a quick fix.employee engagement, hr hull, hr east yorkshire, employee retention


Driving engagement

Focus on management

Leaders can be made, but it takes time, so invest in decent management training to ensure your leaders know what a good leader looks like, how they need to behave and how much they influence employee motivation (engagement).  Its not rocket science but done well it can transform a management team in to a group of people who are not just going through the motions but trying to lift employee engagement.

Look at how people work

Employees are busy people and a 24/7 society requires flexibility at work,  Doing the 9-5 everyday is not always possible, so consider can alternative working patterns help keep people.  Simply offering earlier and later start times is flexibility, considering job sharing can be a really great way of building flexibility in a team.

Make work enjoyable

Okay, now this one is obvious but much forgotten – if work is a good place to go, people will enjoy going…….so where’s the trick….there isn’t one,  Make work enjoyable, challenging, socially engaging, and the team will like turning up, and so more likely to invest more effort to keep it a nice place.  Think about how the team can socialise at work, how you can introduce some fun, celebrate good news (don’t just talk about what has gone wrong), get people involved in work and their jobs.

Keep pay fair

In terms of motivation its not the sum of money that drives satisfaction, its the perception that the person receive a fair reward for the effort they put in.  Naturally as costs at home go up, people will need more money, so think about putting simple, transparent pay structures in place, link pay to the achievements of goals (personal, business, team), think about informal incentives and rewards for when people get things right.