While employers across the globe continue to grapple with the challenge of ‘quiet quitting’ and a disengaged workforce just 1 in 5 business leaders (22 per cent) are prioritising retention this year.

New research conducted by Unily, the leading employee experience platform, found that retention is one of the lowest priorities among HR, IT and internal communications leaders. Instead, 1 in 3 respondents (30 per cent) are prioritising bringing in new talent – this is their second-biggest priority for the year ahead, coming in just behind creating a consistent experience for employees at 31 per cent.

A major factor underpinning low retention that explains the shift in focus to talent acquisition, is the apparent lack of confidence and clarity in understanding employee engagement cycles.

While 90 per cent of businesses agree that employee engagement changes throughout a team member’s employment, nearly a third of business (28 per cent) leaders attribute these fluctuations to specific company milestones or announcements. Meanwhile, 1 in 5 (21 per cent) acknowledge this dip in employee interest happens randomly. The report’s findings demonstrate a barrier to understanding what keeps employees engaged and interested before quiet quitting sets in.

Sam Hassani, chief technology officer at Unily, commented: “Most enterprises recognise that their people are their greatest asset, yet too few are prioritising talent retention. An ‘out with the old, in with the new’ mindset sits at odds with everything we know about creating a winning workplace culture. It’s an expensive, short-sighted strategy that will see existing talent feeling undervalued and replaceable.

“Ultimately, there are so many ways to understand, engage and activate existing employees without going through the exhaustive process of finding and bringing in new talent.”

What Do Employees Want?

A third of business leaders (33 per cent) admit to not understanding what their existing employees want in today’s disjointed workplace, and specifically almost 4 in 10 (39 per cent) felt that this lack of understanding was preventing them from communicating better internally. It is no surprise, then, that a quarter of respondents (25 per cent) have witnessed an increase in dissatisfied employees handing in their notice.

The research found that just over a third (34 per cent) of HR, IT and internal communications leaders think their employees expect an ongoing, two-way dialogue with their employer but this is at odds with many already feeling bombarded by communications from their team leaders (34 per cent).

First and foremost, employees want a streamlined experience with 7 in 10 business leaders reporting that digital experience impacted “heavily” on their business’s ability to retain and attract talent.

Technology is The Answer

Post-pandemic, 64 per cent of all leaders recognise that employees are becoming increasingly frustrated with old, clunky technology, and have come to expect a consistent and smooth digital experience. Insufficient, frictional technology was cited as the top barrier preventing enterprises from offering the best digital employee experience (39 per cent) and better internal communications (45 per cent).

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