Irish businesses are ‘sleepwalking’ towards a costly talent exodus

Irish businesses are ‘sleepwalking’ towards a costly talent exodus

Irish businesses are sleepwalking towards a costly talent exodus, with over half of employees looking to change roles over the next year or once the economy has strengthened.

Recent research from Personio, the all-in-one HR software solution, is calling on businesses to prioritise their people as we emerge from the pandemic, or risk paying the price.

The research finds that while six in 10 Irish employers are justly worried that staff will leave once the job market improves, only just over a fifth state that talent retention is a priority for their organisation over the next 12 months — suggesting many businesses are leaving themselves vulnerable to huge costs.

Economic analysis reveals that, overall, the cost of additional staff turnover over the next 12 months could amount to an estimated €1.2bn in Ireland — equating to €4,759 per business — with Irish SMEs alone facing estimated costs of up to €538m.

When it comes to reasons for leaving, the research uncovers a worrying disconnect between Irish employers’ perception of what would prompt their staff to leave and their employees’ reality.

While employers are right to believe that a pay freeze or cut (36% HR decision-makers vs 22% employees) and a worsening work/life balance (20% HR decision-makers vs 23% employees) are key factors that could cause workers to look elsewhere in the near future, they drastically underestimate the pushing power of toxic workplace culture.

Almost four times as many employees than HR decision-makers consider workplace culture to be a significant push factor (6% HR decision-makers vs 23% employees).

Hanno Renner, co-founder and CEO of Personio, said the last year has been a challenging one for businesses and HR teams who have often found themselves ‘firefighting’ multiple new tasks and concerns.

“For some, this has caused other areas such as people strategy to fall to the wayside — but this negligence comes at a cost,” Hanno said.

“Falling out of touch with the workforce’s problems and priorities means that not only could people be more frustrated and ready to resign, but employers will be poorly prepared to prevent people leaving — resulting in lost talent and productivity, and damaged employer brand.”

As businesses look to emerge from this crisis in a position of strength and turn the tide on the costs of a potential talent exodus, they need to come up with a long-term people strategy.

“By prioritising their people and taking a more strategic approach to people management, employers can prevent an impending talent drain and drive their business performance as well as the wider economy.”

For employees looking elsewhere, the top two most infl

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