8 reasons why your staff turnover could rise in 2017

Image of road sign showing 'dream job, next exit'

Are you ready for an exodus of employees from your company this year?

I’m not kidding.

You see, according to a new survey by the Institute of Leadership and Management, there is clear evidence to show “the return of ambition to the UK workforce” after years of stagnation in the job market.

What that means, in real terms, is that more than 1/3 of UK workers – 37% – are hoping to leave their current job.

This is nearly twice the amount of people this time last year (19%) and three times that of the previous year, when just 13% of employees planned to change jobs. 


That’s a lot people looking for new job opportunities…and a lot of potential headaches for you when your top-performers get itchy feet and decide to walk.

Now, although we outlined a few powerful ways to combat employee turnover with employee assessments in last week’s blog post, it’s still incredibly useful to know WHY people leave your company, before you start looking for solutions.

Why is staff turnover hitting British companies in 2017?

You know as well as I do that there are many varied reasons why people leave organisations and it’s notoriously tricky to pinpoint exactly why employees feel the need for a change in job.

The good news is, with the results of this ILM study, we can actually get a clear idea of the potential causes of staff turnover in the UK.

8 reasons British workers could leave your company:

  • 59% want more opportunity for progression
  • 56% want better pay
  • 50% want a more interesting job
  • 30% want better management
  • 27% want more opportunity for training/development
  • 18% want more opportunity for flexible working
  • 5% want to work with nicer people
  • 3% want better options for parental leave

The Chief Executive of the Institute of Leadership & Management, Charles Elvin, cites the importance of focussing in on employee retention in the new year:

“The New Year is always a popular time for workers to look ahead. With an improving economy and more fruitful job market, it is important that employers realise that it’s likely they will have to work harder to keep their talented employees.”

What can we do to reduce staff turnover?

There’s no magic bullet to keeping your top-performers and treasured team members in your organisation.

The simple fact is that employee retention strategies need to be proactively planned rather than reactively wheeled-out when the exodus comes.

Sadly, many companies find that taking a reactive approach to combatting staff turnover is often a case of “too little, too late”.

Charles Elvin made clear that:

“…It’s crucial that companies actively recognise the efforts and talents of their employees. Companies may want to adapt to this new improved climate, by acknowledging where staff have excelled and moulding opportunities for them to advance.”

What that means, is that UK companies MUST wake up to the vital importance of understanding what makes their people tick AND giving them what they need to be successful and feel empowered to achieve.

On top of that, by ensuring you have appropriate career progression opportunities for employees (both upwards and sideways), you have a fair remuneration strategy in place and you focus on understanding, engaging with and setting your people up for success on an individual level, you’ll go a long way to protecting yourself and your organisation from the looming exodus.

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Question: How do you combat staff turnover in your organisation?

We’d love to hear if your company has experienced high staff turnover in the past and what you did to combat it – Please share your experience in the comments section of this article, we love to hear your experiences and opinions!


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