How can you reduce high attrition rates while heading up successful talent management?
By Kirsten Cluer
According to LinkedIn, the professional services sector had the third highest turnover rate in 2017/18, falling just behind the technology and retail industries.
Based on data collected from half a billion professionals using the social media platform during that period, 11.4 per cent of those in the professional service sector left their job, making talent management a particular concern for employers, especially with the fragile economic climate brought on by Brexit uncertainty.
What’s more, of the 10,000 people surveyed on why they left their job, 45 per cent complained of a lack of opportunity for advancement within the business with leadership, workplace culture and not being rewarded for their contributions also being amongst the top reasons employees moved on.
With the majority of occupations in the professional services sector requiring special training in the arts or sciences, or a professional license, attracting and retaining talent is of significant importance to help create a healthy, competitive and profitable business.
So, how can companies reduce high attrition rates while heading up successful talent management? Here are three of the most effective strategies your business should be using to attract and nurture talent:
1) Empower the employee
According to Accountancy Daily, 92 per cent of employees entering the professional services sector place career progression in their ‘top five’ reasons for joining. With this in mind, employers should strive to provide employees with opportunities that allow them to develop the skills they need to move up their firm’s career path.
Clearly and regularly communicate any leadership roles or specialist training opportunities on offer at the company to ensure new and hungry junior talent is kept engaged, empowered and productive. This, in turn, will improve retention across the board.
2) Recognise and reward
With the success of professional services companies predominantly measured by human talent and skill over technology as such, employees should always be acknowledged for their work.
One of the biggest factors in rising attrition is leaving employees on the wayside; not making them feel valued or even noticed in some cases. Therefore, reward schemes should be put in place to recognise and celebrate hard-working and creative staff.
Even if it’s just through an employee of the month designation, by recognising and rewarding effort, professional services firms can help boost employee morale, improve talent retention and establish themselves as a desirable employer.
3) Adapt to changing workplace cultures
Gone are the days of the traditional 9-to-5 job, as more employees stay connected to their work around the clock through digital technology such as smartphones and tablets.
Millennials prefer having greater autonomy over where, when and how they work; even more so for Generation Z, so businesses should look at acknowledging this favoured fluid work approach by adopting flexible working policies.
Today’s junior talent pool is generally happy to work long hours to meet targets, but would prefer to do so in a way that doesn’t have a negative impact on other life commitments. Whether it be allowing staff to work from home, in ever-popular co-working spaces, or implementing shifts that work around the employee rather than the business; opening the door to more flexible working opportunities will help boost retention while attracting younger talent.
Overall, businesses in the professional services sector should ensure they are running a firm that offers bountiful opportunities to progress and develop, while also providing initiatives that empower the employee. Ultimately, companies should be doing their utmost to attract and retain employees from the niche industry talent pool by creating a culture where talent management is prioritised and nurtured.
Kirsten Cluer is the HR Consultant and owner of Cluer HR. She has more than 15 years of experience in the field and has Fellow membership of the CIPD.
Posted on: Monday 15th Jul 2019