Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Flexible work now top attraction and retention strategy

Employers say offering flexible work is the most successful attraction and retention strategy and more effective than financial incentives, according to new research from Hudson.

The latest Hudson HR Insights research (which surveys over 7,000 employers from 19 core industry groups) showed that while retention was cited as an issue for all employers, the most severe problems were in the telecommunications and hospitality sectors. About 40% of both telecommunications and tourism and hospitality employers rated retention as a major problem, as did 35% of professional services firms.

Retention was less of a concern for employers in the education (15%), FMCG (23%), manufacturing (24%) and transport (24%) sectors.

When asked about the impact of high turnover, employers said customer service was the main area to suffer, followed by employee morale.

The study showed the most widely-used engagement initiatives were flexible work options (67.5%), followed by financial incentives (62.0%), leadership development (48.2%), and succession planning (47.7%).

The engagement initiatives used by the fewest number of employers were mentor programs (36.0%), formal coaching (35.4%), and high potential programs (27.8%).

Some 96% of employers had formal engagement initiatives in place.

When it came to ranking the effectiveness of engagement initiatives, employers said flexible work was the most useful (29%), followed by financial incentives (27%).

Other initiatives, such as leadership development (14%), succession planning (14%) and formal coaching (6%) received much lower ratings for success.

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