While there is frequent commentary and comment about business and consumer confidence, what’s often not mentioned as regularly in relation to the economy is how confident employees feel about securing their next job.
The Randstad Work Monitor measures this confidence on a quarterly basis and a trend is becoming clear that employers should be taking note of. Over the last three quarters employee confidence in getting their next role has been consistently high. That’s right, your employees could be feeling that the time has come for them to take that next step in their career, to take advantage of their worth in the market or simply to have a change of environment.
Whatever it may be, the drivers of staff turnover are becoming ever stronger as employee confidence rises. There are a number of factors which employees consider when looking for a new employer. Salary, career progression and pleasant work atmosphere are just some of the key things people look for.
Backtrack to 2011 when the economy wasn’t doing so well, and employees had a different view of their world. The importance of a company’s financial health and the ability to offer long-term job security trumped salary as the two single most important factors when looking for the next employer. Now, matching the confidence in the economy and the expectation of growth, a competitive salary and attractive employee benefits has taken over as the number one consideration for a move. One obvious conclusion to make is that employees are feeling it’s time their skills and hard work are rewarded and when you add in their confidence to find employment, you have a recipe for turnover.
Research shows that New Zealand businesses, quite rightly, have the ambition to grow and expand in the next few years. The number one way to accelerate growth, other than adding headcount, is to boost employee performance and productivity. But how will businesses boost productivity and performance when it’s likely that employees have one foot out the door scoping their next opportunity?
Now more than ever it’s time for employers to refocus on engagement and retention. These two terms are often bandied around and employers in recent times have often paid no more than lip service to retention as opposed to actually having a focus on it. One of the main reasons for this was the after-effects of the Global Financial Crisis. During this time, when the employment market became more volatile, employees hunkered down and shouldered heavy workloads as teams were downsized and the mantra ‘do more with less’ became the new normal. But as we’ve emerged into a cycle of talent shortages and economic momentum builds, it is once again becoming possible for employees to consider their worth and other opportunities.
With this in mind, business leaders around New Zealand should consider their commitment to retention strategies and ensure that the workforce plan aligns with business growth expectations. Having a robust workforce plan and developing a strong, clear employee value proposition allows you to tackle two challenges head on – that of giving your current and potential staff a compelling reason to stay with, or join, your business. Secondly it maps out how your workforce will drive the growth of your business in the coming years. Having a clear focus on retention not only makes sense when looking at growth expectations but also makes sense from a cost perspective. One thing business leaders are absolutely clear on is that it costs a hell of a lot of money and time in lost productivity to replace valuable staff.
Take the time now to do a temperature check with your staff and identify high flight risks before you’re left holding the bill. Reach out to experts who can help you identify and ensure that your employee value proposition is compelling and matches market expectations.
This is a sure way to keep you one-step ahead of your competition for talent and keep your business humming to your expectations.
Paul Robinson is the Director of Randstad New Zealand and has over 20 years' experience in HR services in New Zealand and in the UK. He prides his understanding of the talent market drivers and his unique ability to stay ahead of current trends and challenges being faced by business leaders.
Randstad is one of the world’s leading recruitment & HR services specialists, passionate about matching people with organisations that will develop their potential and matching organisations with people that will take their business to the next level. The Randstad Group employs over 500,000 people every day with the aim of 'shaping the world of work'.