Employers fear 4.5m workers could be on the move this year

New research highlights one in seven (14%) employees are likely to seek a new job, highlighting the opportunities available to candidates and the increasing war for talent amongst UK businesses.

•    Firms report 14% voluntary employee turnover 
•    61% of employers have seen an increase in staff churn in the last three years
•    Many businesses ignoring basic staff retention initiatives

London, 12 April 2018 – UK businesses are facing increasing staff turnover, according to new research1 by Robert Half UK. In fact, one in seven (14%), or roughly 4.5 million employees2, are likely to seek a new job, highlighting the opportunities available to candidates and the increasing war for talent amongst UK businesses.

Employers have registered this shift with almost three in five (61%) reporting an increase in voluntary employee turnover in the last three years. The research also showed that over half (51%) expect employee turnover to increase in the next three years. 

Yet many businesses still fail to employ basic retention initiatives. Only half (47%) of organisations run training and development programmes to help build employees’ skills and support career development, while most don’t have any programmes in place to support employee wellbeing or reward performance. Organisations are also missing out on valuable insight from their departing employees, with more than four in five (83%) failing to undertake exit interviews.

Employee retention initiatives* % of UK businesses
Training and professional development programmes 47%
Employee wellness programmes 42%
Employee appreciation initiatives 39%
Regular performance reviews/feedback 38%
Regular salary reviews 36%
Flexible and/or remote working opportunities 36%
Clear communication of company purpose/goals 32%
Employee engagement initiatives 30%
Exit interviews 17%

*Multiple responses permitted.

“Employee turnover has significant consequences on workplace productivity and growth,” said Matt Weston, Managing Director at Robert Half UK. “This means retention strategies are now business critical. With a hyper competitive job market, organisations must put staff first by constantly considering workplace happiness and well-being.” 

"Employees are a company’s most important resource, regardless of its size or sector. Failing to keep them happy and motivated has a direct impact on retention and business performance. Businesses need to develop a strategy that incorporates staff wellbeing initiatives alongside career pathing whilst creating a positive company culture and clear sense of purpose."

- ENDS -

Research methodology 
1The study was developed by Robert Half and conducted in December 2017 - January 2018 by an independent research firm among 500 business leaders across the UK, with the data segmented by business type, size, and location. This survey is part of an international study on hiring trends and career ambitions in the modern workplace. 

2 Based on workforce 32.35 million people in work from March ONS labour market data

About Robert Half

Robert Half is the world’s first and largest specialised recruitment consultancy and member of the S&P 500. We have once again been named to FORTUNE’s “World’s Most Admired Companies®” list and remains the top-ranked staffing firm (February 2020). Founded in 1948, the company has over 300 offices worldwide providing temporary, interim and permanent recruitment solutions for accounting and finance, financial services, technology, legal and administrative professionals. Robert Half offers workplace and jobseeker resources at roberthalf.co.uk and twitter.com/roberthalfuk.