Although talent shortages are still a matter of great concern across multiple industries throughout the UK, recent years have presented a significant shift from ‘Talent Management’ to ‘People Management’. A report by CIPD found that one in five workers are considering leaving their job in the next 12 months. Combine that with the fact that hiring a replacement costs an average of £30,000, more companies are recognising the importance of engaging their existing workforce and supporting their development.
Why employees choose to leave and the costs involved
There are a wide range of reasons why employees may choose to seek pastures new. According to a recent survey by Glassdoor, a substantial number of employees cited the following factors behind their decision to pursue their career elsewhere:
- disapproval of their boss/line manager
- boredom with their work
- dislike of the company’s culture
- lack of confidence regarding the direction of the company overall
Staff turnover is undoubtedly a costly and risky part of business, particularly when tallying up the logistical and developmental costs of replacing an employee who has left the business.
According to Centric HR, the average cost of replacing an employee is 6-9 months of that employees salary. So if you lose an employee who earns £30,000, it’ll cost £15,000-£22,500 to replace them in hiring and training costs alone. On top of this, there are also hidden costs that arise when a staff member decides to leave a company, which include the following:
- Other staff expressing a wish to leave
- Higher levels of stress-related absence
- Interruptions to workflow and missed deadlines
- A reduction in productivity or levels of customer service
- A drop in staff morale, particularly if the leaver was popular and good at their job, and/or you need the remaining staff to take on the leaver's work
But take heart, because there are ways in which you can direct more of your focus towards retaining staff.
Top tips for better people management
While many employers look outward to close skill gaps in their company, they miss out on the reward of supporting the development of their existing employees. The following steps will not only help you create a more engaged workforce, but also empower your employees to become true leaders in their roles, which often proves to be a more valuable investment in the long term:
1. Actively support the development of your employees
The more support you give your employees regarding their pursuit of their career goals and skill development, the more that they will trust that you have their best interests in mind. One way to do this is to give them the time and resources to spend on personal development.
While it’s fairly easy to make high performing employees feel empowered, you shouldn't overlook employees who are struggling to find their footing. It is often these individuals who need the most mentoring to make them feel empowered and engaged, while still directing them to improve their performance. Encourage employees to take on roles and responsibilities that reflect their skills, even if that means transferring to another area, or changing the path they joined your company to pursue.
2. Shared purpose means asking employees for their views
Within reason, it is advisable to not only give employees visibility of the direction towards which the company is headed, but also directly involve them in the decision-making process towards improving the company's policies, operations and overall culture. This can be achieved through employee satisfaction surveys, whereby employees can share their thoughts, concerns and suggestions for improvement. But that's not enough. You also need to take action and keep your employees informed on how their feedback has impacted the direction of the company.
3. Give employees opportunities to be leaders in their field
In order for empowerment to be successful, it has to be accompanied by confidence. You can’t simply tell your employees that they have the power and autonomy to act in the best interests of the company and its customers. They need to find and develop confidence in their own leadership and decision-making skills. You can do this by finding ways in which employees at all levels can lead and make decisions. Eventually, you won’t need to direct them to take the lead. Furthermore, you should aim to create an environment where the possibility of failure does not discourage from trying.
4. Review and revise policies that could be hindering empowerment
While it’s all good and well to talk about how much you want your employees to take action and be leaders in their field, you also need to evaluate whether or not your written policies reflect this. It’s difficult to heed verbal encouragement to act with autonomy when written policy is full of contradictory procedures. It’s important to continuously review policies and procedures which may be standing in the way of employees truly claiming ownership over their responsibilities.
5. Recognise good efforts and reward good results
When employees show initiative and take action to solve problems, keep customers happy, improve processes or create growth, your recognition is what will not only encourage them to do the same in the future, but also make them feel inspired about working within an organisation that appreciates what they bring to the table. While incentive schemes, awards and bonuses are all great ways to reward high performing employees, remember that even small gestures of appreciation, such as a thank you card or even a simple ‘Well Done!’, will go a long way in reassuring your employees that you are aware of their efforts, and value them.