One third of HR directors saw employee turnover increase over last three years



While businesses recognise the issue and are starting to offer more incentives for staff to stay, there is a discrepancy between the issues companies’ current retention strategies address, and the reasons why employees decide to leave.

The survey found that boredom and frustrations with their current role or company, poor work-life balance and stagnant career prospects are the key reasons why employees choose to move on according to HR directors. Boredom has been identified as a main reason for staff turnover across companies of all sizes but employees in large businesses are particularly affected by this, with almost half naming it the key reason for staff turnover, compared to 27 per cent in small companies and 35 per cent in medium-sized ones.

Breakdown of respondents that listed boredom as a key reason for staff turnover

Company size Percentage
Total respondents 35%
Large businesses 42%
Medium businesses 35%
Small businesses 27%

Source: Robert Half UK

In response, companies are employing several different retention methods to reduce employee turnover including flexible working arrangements and competitive salary packages. Other common retention strategies include career development and training, internal promotions and counteroffers. However, most fail to directly tackle the issue of workplace-related boredom, which leaves the underlying driver of employee attrition unaddressed. Giving employees meaningful and worthwhile work has been shown to make them 3.2 times more likely to be happy at work and, consequently, less likely to leave.

“UK businesses are beginning to realise that they need to prioritise the implementation of effective retention strategies as their current efforts have been unsuccessful in addressing the underlying causes of voluntary staff turnover. At a time where the labour market is very competitive and highly-skilled employees are in short supply, organisations need to ensure they look after their staff. With the productivity agenda a high priority for business leaders, considering employee happiness and well-being will promote loyalty”, commented Phil Sheridan, Senior Managing Director at Robert Half UK.

“At the end of the day, employees are a company’s most important resource, regardless of its size or sector. Losing staff because they feel unhappy and unmotivated can be avoided if businesses develop a strategy which incorporates staff wellbeing initiatives alongside career planning and, above all, nurtures a positive company culture.”