The biggest reason people leave

The biggest reason people leave

Employee retention is one of the key indicators of a company in good health.

In the past Executives have used salary and benefits as a method of ensuring that staff stay put but in truth, this is a pretty blunt instrument and can often disguise an issue rather than solve it.

Certainly, retention was at one time a little easier with the 2008 crash a source of uncertainty in the jobs market and employees tending to stay put. Once the economy in Ireland picked up then staff began to look around and research shows that employers began to offer salary enhancements to retain or recruit talented staff.

But since then there’s been a sea change and in fact, money is no longer the number one driver in employee retention – work/life balance is.

In a recent report workforce management company Kelly1 found that only 24% of job movers cited better pay as a reason. In fact, work-life balance and personal growth came top of the list and a similar finding was reported in the Robert Half Survey2 in the UK with a staggering 59% citing these two reasons.

So what is a work-life balance?

Most executives will probably provide an answer that includes something around flexible hours but that’s about as far as it goes and there’s a good reason for that.

The reason the work-life balance is so difficult to pin down is that it is different for all of us.

For some it’s spending more time with the kids, for others, it’s overcoming a challenge whether it’s in the workplace or in a pastime. The main problem is that we tend to see work and home as separate places with a strict dividing line between the two.

Breaking down this artificial barrier is important to fostering an effective and long-lasting balance. Yes, flexible working is important, but simple things like allowing dogs into the office, utilising employees spare time talents in a work setting and taking part in group charity events are much more effective.

Years ago employers large and small used to provide sports and social activities for their staff members, somewhere along the way in the drive for productivity and reduced costs these have been eroded and yet the sense of community is integral to a work-life balance.

Developing this community spirit through inclusion in out of work activities and providing opportunities for staff to play as well as work together is likely to help reduce the sense of loss people feel through spending too much time at work.

Research shows that this sense of community and shared goals promote engagement, reduces stress and reduce dissatisfaction with hours worked. Sure it requires a bit of creative thinking but the benefits could be immeasurable.





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