Why money is just not enough to keep top employees

Work/life balance is now more important to workers than money

With the job market heating up in the City, employers are revisiting their staff motivation and retention strategies to prevent their best people from leaving and taking new job opportunities. But this may not be as simple as finding more money to tempt people to stay: increasingly, employees are looking for alternative benefits, including better work/life balance and a clearer career path.

WHY STAFF ARE LEAVING

According to our latest research, the number one reason for people to leave their jobs is to seek out opportunities with a better work/life balance. Nearly a third (30 per cent) of HR directors identified the attraction of a better work/life balance as what really drives people to switch jobs.

This represents a significant change in the drivers for people seeking new employment – and compared to just four years ago. In 2011, HR directors cited higher remuneration as the primary reason for people across the UK to look for opportunities with other employers.

The second most common reason was to take on a new position offering the potential for further career advancement (29 per cent). And interestingly, this was the highest response for employees in London (40 per cent). Often, staff feel they have a limited chance to progress within their existing company, and unless they are given a clear path for progression, they will seek a position elsewhere.

Salary, bonus and benefit considerations are still important, and were identified as the main motivation for employees switching jobs by 27 per cent of HR directors. Meanwhile, one in 10 HR professionals said the primary motivation of employees leaving their company was to find a job in a better location, and 6 per cent said it was to find a better corporate culture.

While a strong work/life balance is an important aspect of the overall package for the majority of employees, employers should always make an effort to actually speak to staff and seek out individual motivations.

BENCHMARKING THE COMPETITION

As businesses look to grow and improve efficiency, retaining high performers will increasingly be at the top of the agenda. So employers should regularly benchmark the remuneration and benefits offered to key staff, to ensure that they are competitive alongside firms in similar industries and regions.

In assessing your retention strategies, questions to ask include:

1. Who are our top performers and who do we want to retain?

2. What are the salary ranges that we offer to those employees and how do these compare to industry averages?

3. What are the other benefits that we offer to them, including flexible working and new career opportunities?

4. Which combinations of benefits are particularly attractive to individuals in the team?


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