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June 07, 2013

Staff at "flight risk" as economy grows

UK employee turnover levels are set to rise sharply in 2015, resulting in 765,000 more staff departures than in 2012, according to a study by Hay Group conducted in association with the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) entitled Preparing for Take-Off.

The study finds that the number of workers moving jobs in the UK is expected to rise to 4.3 million in 2015. And turnover rates over the next five years are predicted to go up from 14.6% to 18%.

Chris Smith, consultant at Hay Group in the UK, said: "People have been reluctant to leave their current role due to the turbulent labour market associated with the economic downturn, government spending austerity and the Eurozone crisis which has held down turnover rates in many firms."

He added: "As conditions improve, dissatisfied workers pose a significant flight risk for organisations of all shapes and sizes in the UK. Recognising and then meeting the needs of the workforce will be key to retaining talent in the next few years."

The research also highlights significant talent shortages in the UK, with labour cited as a factor limiting production for 12% of businesses – one of the highest levels in Europe and well above the 4% found in Germany.

Some sectors face even great challenges. The study reveals that finding skilled workers is a problem for 18% of manufacturing firms. And it concludes that about a quarter of new jobs created over the next five years will require science and technology skills, but that there will be a shortage of people with these abilities.

The research also finds that confidence in leadership, opportunity for career development, autonomy, supportive work environment and appropriate compensation are among the most consistent predictors of employee engagement and commitment.