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Career progression and strong leadership 'key to staff retention'

18th August 2014

MGI World Companies are struggling to retain their high-potential employees, according to new research

Career progression and strong leadership are vital when it comes to talent retention, according to two international surveys. 

The research, from Towers Watson, suggested that many companies need to do more in the way of preparation when it comes to retaining top employees in a competitive labour market. 

It was found that employees commonly believe there are only limited career advancement opportunities in their place of work. Many also expressed a lack of confidence in the leadership at their organisation. 

The consulting firm warned that employers that fail to address such issues are at risk of seeing their best talent leave, with recent statistics indicating that the jobs market is hotting up once again. 

Indeed, 48 per cent of respondents to the global survey admitted that hiring activity has increased since last year, while just 15 per cent claimed it has dropped. 

Furthermore, 35 per cent of employers said staff turnover was on the up, compared to 18 per cent who believe it has dropped. 

It was also revealed that the employees who are leaving are often the ones that companies should be making efforts to retain. Fifty-six per cent of those surveyed admitted they are having difficulty retaining high-potential employees, and 54 per cent are apparently struggling to hang onto their top performers. 

Laura Sejen, a managing director at Towers Watson, commented on the findings. 

“With talent mobility on the rise, employers need to understand what employees value if they are to succeed in attracting and retaining employees,” she said.

“Unfortunately, our surveys reveal a significant disconnect between employers and employees.”

Ms Sejen added that employers do not appear to be as focused as their staff are when it comes to job security, as well as trust and confidence in senior leadership, despite the fact that less than half of respondents said senior leadership is effective. 

According to these findings, there are a number of actions businesses can take in a bid to hold onto their best staff. These include developing leadership, creating a more consumer-like experience for employees, equipping managers for career development and monitoring the progress of their career management schemes. 

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