Posted on Tuesday 26 February 2019 by Ulster Business

Justin new

Understanding why an individual chooses to leave an employer, this is one of the first issues a recruiter will explore with a client seeking a new role, writes Justin Rush.

As such, recruiters are uniquely positioned to access information on many aspects that affect staff retention. Gone are the days when someone resigned solely due to feeling their reward was below the market rate.

Here are some of the main reasons employees choose to seek employment elsewhere:

Poor relationship with managers
Hitting the promotion (glass) ceiling
Lack of development opportunities
Negative company culture
To improve their work/life balance
Having no buy-in to company vision

Now that you know these contributing factors, what can you do to counteract and improve your retention levels? Well there is no quick fix and usually, for most organisations, not one glaring issue to be corrected. However, retention levels can be improved, here is how:

Take more time when recruiting
Poor appointment decisions directly affect retention levels. Do not lower your bar or settle just to fill the slot. Go back to the drawing board if needs be.

On-board with great care
The experience of new-starters when joining your organisation is vital. Do not assume that you will be able to retain just because you appointed. The occurrence of resignations from staff with less than six months service is increasing.

Conduct staff satisfaction surveys
Direct, honest and confidential feedback from your staff team is massively valuable. If you do not act on the aspects highlighted (no matter how trivial), you are making a massive mistake and wasting the effort made.

Give staff control over learning and development
Learning and development is not a reward or a luxury item, for the modern employee it is a basic essential. It is also a significant item within the retention mix, ignore it at your peril.

Invest in wellbeing, CSR and social initiatives.
Successful, modern employers understand that creating psychological bonds (employee to employee and employee to organisation) in their teams outside of core work, directly supports loyalty and retention.

Implement effective flexible working regimes
It may not be ideal for all organisations, but if faced with the decision to retain or lose, perhaps a trade-off in terms of flexibility is worthwhile.

Many would argue that you cannot replace the knowledge and experience some people take when leaving an organisation. Whether you believe this or not, most can agree that the time, opportunity and financial costs, associated with replacing valuable staff is hugely significant.

Justin Rush is managing director at the Abacus Talent Group and can be found on


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