Employee retention drives business success with a direct impact on productivity and revenue. Because losing and hiring staff is a costly process due to training costs, training time and culture disconnect, a growing number of businesses are increasingly seeking new ways to attract and retain the best talent.
The general consensus is that UK workers’ satisfaction with working roles generally waned post pandemic. In a PwC survey published in May 2022, 50% of the people surveyed said they were likely to change their job in the next 12 months. With half the workforce actively looking to switch employers, businesses are being forced to work harder than ever before to keep hold of their staff.
There is a persuasive argument that suggests working smarter rather than harder might be the way forward. There are tangible, cost-effective ways businesses can take better care of staff, which also send out a positive signal to prospective employees, making recruitment easier.
Aside from the obvious factors around pay and working environment – hybrid working having been normalised during the COVID era – benefits and reward packages are part of the wider employee experience are gaining sharper focus in an effort to create an advantage. Outside of the obligatory core benefits every employer should be offering – pension, income protection and holiday allowance – flexible working, life insurance and healthcare still top the most desired list of employee extras.
Rise in the subscription culture has diminished brand loyalty with most of us happy to switch when a new service comes along that is better and more valuable. The same can be said about job satisfaction; the number one reason for talent being lured away from good businesses is “better opportunity,” which translates to a better work environment, better compensation, a better boss, or more opportunity for advancement.
Research by insurance experts, Aviva, revealed that paid sick leave, profit share options, free meals and drinks, dental care and eye tests are important benefits to the modern employee. A whole new generation of group life and health benefit plans now proactively reward employees for their commitment to their employer. Offering a desirable benefits package gives workers something extra to think about when they are considering changing their job. Are they willing to give up the perks that your business provides?
Personal safety concerns at work
There is an unseen cause that is affecting retention and recruitment rates across all sectors – and that’s employee peace of mind about personal safety.
Our own latest study reveals that a staggering 6.8 million workers are worrying about their personal safety at work, every single week of the year.
One in five employees (22%) surveyed cited safety concerns as a contributing reason that they chose to leave their job in the past five years and over a quarter stated that they would not take on any public facing role due to personal safety concerns.
Negative experiences were felt by all types of workers and in all aspects of their working lives, with 60% of participants admitting that they even felt unsafe on the commute to and from work during unsociable hours. In the context of any recruitment and retention crisis, these are concerning numbers.
Employers are failing
Our research also found that while the majority of businesses want to do more to protect their employees, many struggle to know how they can help beyond basic safety compliance, which clearly many workers feel is no longer enough. They expect additional support from their employer, it is no longer a ‘nice to have’.
Even though it isn’t currently something set in law, 51% of employees believe that their employer has a duty to make sure they get to work and back home safe; it’s not just about the hours that they are on the clock. And nearly a third of employees believe their employer could be doing more to protect them – full stop.
The message is that employers need to consider going beyond official legislation and basic compliance to provide the level of employee safety required to attract and retain top talent.
Untapped retention tool
There is a clear, tangible benefit to recruitment and perceptions of roles if prospective employees were to be offered personal protection technology that they know will reliably keep them out of harm’s way. Improving levels of employee safety is one untapped staff retention tool that could also make a prospective job more appealing for workers across any sector.
Peoplesafe provide a range of professional safety apps and devices designed to offer the best level of protection and peace of mind – starting at the price of a cup of coffee. Yet it’s a benefit still only generally reserved for employees in more high-risk roles.
Rolled out to all workers, this technology would provide a seamless 24/7 response service that would be automatically accessible both in and outside of working hours, demonstrating an obvious commitment to employee safety and wellbeing. The fact that 600,000 free safe walk apps were downloaded in 5 months in 2021 highlights the demand for these solutions.
Two thirds of employees questioned in Peoplesafe research said they would take up a personal safety solution if offered and 50% of workers would consider a front line role if equipped with safety tech, suggesting that the pool of candidates for a role could measurably increase with personal safety technology built into a job offer or role.
24/7 safety as an employee benefit
The downloads of free personal safety apps have soared in popularity because they help users to feel more confident when they are alone and feeling vulnerable. However, research published by BMC in June 2022 found that while people downloading these free apps found them useful, they also reported them as being unreliable, not working as described and/or having features that could be exploited.
Peoplesafe personal safety apps and are backed by expert Alarm Controllers trained to handle distressing situations. This 24/7 monitored service helps to keep workers safe – wherever they are – by connecting directly to the emergency services in critical situations.
The service operates round the clock which means that employers can provide staff with the benefit of feeling safe both inside and outside of work. Whether commuting during unsociable hours, walking to a car park off site or meeting up with friends outside of work, users can access the Peoplesafe ARC and receive the expert level protection whenever it is needed.
Calculate how much you could save on recruitment and retention by implementing a personal safety service: