Mid-sized companies risk losing talent due of lack of retention practices

Posted on: February 11th, 2016


The so-called war for talent has never been tougher than itis now. That’s why we were so surprised to learn that many businesses risk losing the fight by not paying enough attention to one key weapon in their arsenal: employee retention.

As On Rec recently reported, new research from KPMG shows that the majority of medium-sized companies in the UK do not have a consistent, strategised approach towards keeping their employees happy. Knowing what we do about the lack of company loyalty amongst today’s workforce, these businesses risk losing their best talent to their rivals.

According to the study of 223 bosses from companies turning over between £10 million and £500 million, nearly half (44%) of respondents said that their talent retention efforts were “thorough but unplanned, with lots of initiatives which were not integrated into an overall strategy.” More than a quarter (27%) admitted to having an “ad-hoc” approach, while just 29% felt that their talent retention approach was “formalised.”

When asked how they monitored and retained their staff, the majority of bosses relied on annual reviews or encouraging open and honest dialogue between employees and their line managers – these methods were used by a respective 80% and 70% of respondents.

However, these days more in-depth retention techniques are required – and this was where employers were found to be lacking. Less than half (49%) trained managers to manage staff effectively, while a similar number (46%) offered staff financial incentives. L
ess than a third (30%) captured and analysed key performance indicators (KPIs) to monitor and reward talent.

Commenting on the findings, Ingrid Waterfield – director of KPMG’s People Powered Performance team – said although it wasn’t perhaps surprising that mid-sized companies have a less systematic approach than larger companies, given the costs involved, it costs time and money to replace talented people. So, “the impact of a talented individual leaving a smaller business is likely to cause much larger ripples throughout the rest of the company.”

She added, “by not adopting more formalised talent management strategies, companies are almost fighting this war with one hand tied behind their back.”

It’s easy for employers to think that staff leave simply because they have been “lured away by competitors”, Waterfield continued, but “trust in leadership and how often they feel appreciated are also more influential drivers for exit than many employers realise.”

If you’re not feeling valued in your current position and are thinking about your next career move, talk to Lucy Bristow today – we can help match you with the right employer for your needs, goals and skillset.

Image: World’s Best Boss by TheMuuj available under a CC BY 2.0 license

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