Firms more concerned about retaining staff than the impact of Brexit

Small businesses are more focussed on training up and retaining their staff than worries over Brexit, a new study reveals.

Businesses are more concerned about retaining and developing staff in the next six months than the potential impact of Brexit, according to a poll of over 3,000 senior HR professionals carried out by Alexander Mann Solutions.

In its survey, the global talent acquisition and management specialist finds that 23 per cent of companies are most concerned about retaining top staff without large financial incentives. In comparison, just 9 per cent state that the uncertainty of Brexit is the key challenge they face.

These statistics mirror a recent PwC report, which reveals the emphasis business owners are placing on improving talent processes in the immediate future, with 81 per cent of UK CEOs intending to amend their people strategies.

Jeremy Tipper, director of consulting and innovation at Alexander Mann Solutions, comments, ‘It’s somewhat surprising that having spoken directly to organisations, the biggest headache they are predicting in the immediate future is at odds with the many news reports we see each day. Despite the avalanche of media attention and continuous emphasis on the potential impact Brexit could have on businesses, very few firms have placed this at the top of their list of concerns in the coming months.

‘However, there is an unquestionable link between Brexit and the acute focus on talent. Many UK employers are heavily reliant on talent from the European Union and further afield. If access to this talent becomes more difficult, if not impossible, keeping the talent you have will become even more vital to the success of UK employers.’

Jeremy adds, ‘The fact that so many organisations have identified the need to keep top employees without hefty financial implications demonstrates a real move towards true employee engagement – one where the chance to make a change, work flexibly and access multiple development opportunities are more important than monetary rewards. This can certainly – at least in part – be attributed to changing demands from the workforce as the growth of millennials in employment continues to revolutionise what colleagues want from employers.

‘This need for greater engagement with talent is further emphasised by the growing focus on internal mobility, with a quarter of those surveyed identifying that facilitating the internal movement of their best employees is a top priority in the immediate future. Given the increasing demand from staff to have access to a wider variety of opportunities, relocating talent across the company will certainly aid staff retention. With this emphasis on staff retention and development, it’s no wonder that a quarter of those we polled also plan to invest in more appropriate assessment processes in the coming months.’

Further reading on retaining staff

Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Owen Gough

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the and titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the

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