Losing members of staff isn’t just disruptive to your business, it’s also expensive work. Advertising and recruitment costs plus time taken to train new members of staff are not something a small business wants to fork out for on a regular basis.

Attracting and retaining the right staff is a problem for many businesses. According to the latest Aldermore Future Attitudes report, 67% of SMEs find it difficult to hire qualified staff members or keep existing ones in the company.

More than a thousand business decision makers across the UK were surveyed. The results found that the most common concern in business is finding the right people to hire (32%) and that key employee positions are often difficult to fill (20%).

26% said that retaining good staff members once they have been found is a big concern among business leaders. 20% admit that they’re currently having a problem with a high workforce turnover.

Younger employees are particularly difficult to keep on board, with 15% saying this was a problem for them.

29% say they’ve had an increase in the number of staff leaving their business compared with 12 months ago.

Why staff leave

Bosses who look at reasons for people leaving say most simply want a change in career (23%), followed by wanting faster career progression (21%) and wanting a pay rise (19%).

24% of those that leave end up at a larger organisation in the same sector. 16% move to a larger company in a different industry and 13% go to another small business in a similar industry. This suggests that a pay rise and career progression are more of a factor than wanting a career change.

SMEs attempt to retain staff by ensuring they have a good work-life balance (28%) and by offering flexible working opportunities (26%). This is followed by offering relevant training courses (23%) and by giving staff regular pay rises (21%).

Carl D’Ammassa, Group Managing Director of Business Finance at Aldermore said: “Competition for the best industry talent has always been fierce and business leaders need to put measures in place to ensure their companies are attractive places to work for ambitious employees.

“The best people can have a significant, positive impact on how that business performs, so therefore it is heartening to see that the majority of SMEs acknowledge that it is important to make an effort to keep talented people by offering a good work-life balance, flexible working, and valuable training. This is to be applauded, and many larger employers could learn much from their smaller peers about maintaining staff satisfaction.”


What are your methods for retaining staff? Please share your thoughts and comments.

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