See you all later. Image: from The Ten Commandments, Paramount Pictures

Thursday 8th January 2015

The year of Exodus

Over a third of your employees plan to leave in 2015, says survey

Listen carefully. Can you hear it? That’s the sound of hundreds of your employees rushing for the door.

The Institute of Leadership and Management’s survey of labour turnover for the coming year has returned with this stunning figure: 37% of over 1000 surveyed believe they will change jobs this year, nearly a two-fold increase on 2014.

How could this be possible? During the recession, labour turnover rates were markedly subdued. As the economy has improved, so too has labour turnover, which has actually been increasing moderately since 2011.

2015 may be the big ‘release year’ of many disaffected employees who have been biding their time for more stable economic climes to arrive.

Strong odds

It could be a fluke statistic. But with a bit of napkin maths, statistics suggests that a sample size of 1000 is accurate to within 3% 19 times out of 20, assuming a fair selection criteria. So the odds are strong that there will indeed be a remarkably large increase.

At the start of every year, the ILM conducts this same forecast. There’s usually a disparity with the actual outcome, but it’s not usually gigantic. For example, in 2013 13% believed they would change jobs. During the year, XpertHR measured an average voluntary resignation rate of 12.5%.

In 2014, the ILM survey measured a rise to 19% of respondents believing they would change jobs. The actual figures for 2014 are not yet fully known, but they’re almost certainly higher than those of 2013.

The supposed dramatic increase for 2015 is corroborated by research from the Hay Group, which also suggests a sharp rise in labour turnover, projected to continue until 2018.

Train to retain

This might work. Photo: Jesslee Cuizon

So, 2015 is shaping up to be a bumper year for recruitment. External factors artificially improved employee retention, but it seems that block is departing rapidly.

If you have been resting on your laurels on the issue, now may be the time to give your employee with the coldest feet a big, non-threatening hug.

Not only will the hug make you both feel better, it could also save you a packet. Analysis from Oxford estimates it costs more than £30k to replace an employee. That figure covers advertising, temp staff, loss of productivity from getting new staff up to speed, and more.

If a hug doesn’t do it for you, the offer of career and personal development is consistently ranked as the most important factor tempting employees to stay or go.

Might be time to dust off those succession plans and big up your training provision – before there’s no-one to cheer you on at waste paper basketball..

About the author

Jerome Langford

Jerome is a graduate in Philosophy from St Andrews, who alternately spends time writing about HR and staring wistfully out of windows, thinking about life’s bigger questions: Why are we here? How much lunch is too much lunch? What do you mean exactly by ‘final warning’?