We have seen a notable focus on staff retention, with engaging and retaining existing talent identified as the single biggest priority for HR teams, surpassing talent acquisition. Given the scarcity of talent and the rarity of certain skills (64% of respondents say that “compared with the previous year, it is growing more challenging to attract key talent”), plus the costs associated with high employee turnover, keeping hold of valuable existing staff members, and upskilling them as necessary, is becoming evermore important.
This emphasis may also reflect the behaviour and preferences of job-hopping millennials, thought to value career and personal development as much as financial rewards, and prepared to move jobs regularly to achieve these. Our findings show that 40% of organisations are strongly focusing on providing staff with opportunities for career progression as a key motivating factor – versus 38% strongly focusing on financial incentives/enhanced benefits; 36% are strongly focused on learning and development, a crucial element of wider career development, given the evolving nature of jobs. Related to this are clear efforts to enhance culture, offer flexibility and enable all staff members to bring their whole selves to work (a high priority for 29% of participants’ organisations): a decisive 84% of global survey respondents agree that achieving diversity of thought within their workforce contributes positively to the bottom line.
With a multi-generational workforce (reported by 60%), retention strategies must be tailored to differing priorities and preferences. However, flexibility, career development and an inclusive culture are likely to be valued by all, including generation Z, which is still to be studied and understood.