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The recession is over – you now might lose key employees

The UK officially came out of recession last week, and we will know in April if Scotland is officially out of recession. The CBI warned last week that a full recovery for the UK economy is unlikely until 2012.

There are now definite signs that the job market is picking up, and employees will now be more likely to try and move on now we have came out of the recession. Most people normally feel the “January blues”, and is historically a time when employees start looking for another job.

Retaining staff should be a priority for organisations. Some employees will have taken “stop-gap’ jobs during the recession, and will be looking to move to a job or employer which meets their needs. There are also morale and engagement issues with some workers, which could be attributed to their employer going through redundancies, restructures, pay reductions, reduced working hours and a lack of development during the recession. These employees will be looking to move as soon as they find a suitable job.

The Manpower Employment Outlook survey found that UK employers’ hiring intentions have leapt up from -5% in the first quarter of 2009 to 0% in the first three months of 2010.
The index, based on data from 2,100 employers, is calculated by subtracting those that plan to cut staffing levels from those that plan to hire staff. The finance sector has recovered the most, registering a recruitment intention of 7% for 2010.

There are steps you can take as an employer to retain staff.

Invest in their development

We appreciate that organisations have had to slash costs, and unfortunately training and development is one aspect that has suffered. Be creative – development does not need to be classroom based. Are you entitled to funding from local government? Consider e-learning, internal workshops, mentoring, seminars and sharing best practice with other organisations. This will help keep skill up to date and show your staff you do care about their development.

Performance Management

Have a structured process in place, and ensure employees have clear goals and objectives. Be honest with them – if there are budgetary constraints let them know what else you can do to support them.

The role of the Manager

It is well known that most people leave their manager, not the company. According to a recent survey by Gallup, employees find humiliation the most intolerable. The first time, an employee may not leave, but a thought has been planted. The second time it occurs that thought gets strengthened. The third time, he or she looks for another job.

Managers affect employees in different ways – by being too controlling, not flexible, too suspicious, too pushy, too critical, and unapproachable. Managers need to remember that your workers are your key assets – without them you cannot achieve your business objectives.


Although this is the role of the manager, you need to create a culture where regular communication can take place. For your staff to be engaged, they need to feel they are being listened to. If they are engaged, they are more productive and less likely to leave your organisation.

Communication is vital – even if you don’t have formal team meetings, make sure you create a culture where your employees can ask questions and make sure you listen to them – always make the time for them, no matter how busy you are.

Retention cost

The loss of knowledge, skills and experience is a costly one. Did you know that the CIPD estimate the cost of replacing a leaver to be £6125?

Can you afford not to take staff retention seriously?

If you require further HR Advice, explanation or support in this or any other HR related area, please call us today on 0800 612 4772 or get a Free Quote for HR Services via our website.


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