Rising Attrition Rates

HR professionals will likely remember the conversations about the 'Great Resignation' that were commonplace in 2021. But while this topic has come up less frequently over the last couple of years, the fact is that the Great Resignation never ended. 

In PageGroup's recent Talent Trends report, we reveal the must-see results of our study of 70,000 professionals around the world. One of the more surprising facts we found was that, here in the UK, 2022 saw nearly three times as many resignations as in 2021. And since we also found that 50% of our respondents reported that they were actively looking for a job, we can expect that this trend will not slow down in 2023.

So, if you’ve noticed that attrition rates in your organisation are rising, you are not alone. We believe that this is all due to a wider and permanent cultural shift amongst the workforce, which we call “The Invisible Revolution.” 

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But what does that mean for you, and what can you do to avoid losing your best people?

Why is employee engagement declining?

Whether they’re actively seeking a new role or not, we’ve found that employees across the board feel less connected to their employers and more willing to put their own needs first. Following the disruption and transformation caused by the pandemic, many have begun to derive emotional benefits and fulfilment less from their jobs, and more from their families, friends, and communities.

This has made their relationship with work much more transactional; professionals are now evaluating their jobs with a clear value equation: “What I get” versus “What I give”. One finding of our study illustrates this particularly well: 86% of respondents said they were open to new opportunities. If their employers are not fulfilling their needs, they will not hesitate to go elsewhere, regardless of the economic climate.

This is one of the reasons we’re seeing such a distinct rise in attrition.

Through our study, we found that one key mindset shift among workers relates to the growing importance of work-life balance. It is well-documented that work-life balance has become more valuable over the last few years, but the exact extent of this is noteworthy. Over 50% of our respondents said they would reject a promotion if they thought it would have a negative effect on their well-being. They also ranked work-life balance higher than salary for overall job satisfaction.

With this front of mind, we have defined a “Work-Life Equation” to provide some clarity around exactly what professionals are looking for from their employers. The components of this “equation” are salary, flexibility, and career progression. 

How HR can adapt to the changing needs of employees

It may seem that current and prospective employees want it all - but successful talent attraction and retention do not rely on loading up an offer with an inflated salary and unlimited vacation time. It’s all about striking a balance.

Our data shows that offering competitive salaries, flexible working options, and opportunities for career progression is the most effective way to appeal to today’s workforce. These three elements are absolutely essential, and only focusing on one of them is a mistake that could cost you your best talent. If an employee has a salary well above market rate, but doesn’t see room for advancement or isn’t offered the autonomy to adjust their hours or where they work from, they will be liable to leave. The salary won’t be sufficient reason for them to stay.

At the same time, there is wiggle room: employers can emphasise some of these more than others. For instance, companies with limited budgets for payroll and benefits could make up for that in flexibility and clear career pathways, which do not put as heavy a strain on resources. 

What next?

With all of this change, it’s clear that there is a lot of pressure on HR functions right now. Attrition is simply a reality that needs to be navigated along with a challenging, candidate-short hiring market. 

The right recruitment partner can help you to utilise the insights in this market report and run a smooth hiring process. You can reach out to the team to start a conversation about possible solutions with one of our expert recruitment consultants.

You can also download our full Talent Trends 2023 report, “The Invisible Revolution” today to dive deeper into the data around this phenomenon, as well as our recommendations to help you navigate the changing attitudes of the workforce.

Download the full report

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