For many of us the average lifespan of a New Year’s resolution – be it a commitment to eat healthier, to start exercising, or to learn a foreign language – is less than a month. When it comes to our careers, however, we tend to take our resolutions a bit more seriously.
A recent study by Glassdoor has revealed that January is the month people are most likely to consider switching jobs. In fact nearly one in five (18%) employees that responded to the survey admitted January is the most popular month to make a career move.
At a time when retaining the best talent has never been more important, or more difficult, keeping employees happy and engaged when they may be considering their options should be an absolute priority.
What does this entail? According to Glassdoor, apart from wanting a higher salary the top reasons most people switch jobs are the desire for new challenges (23%) and poor relationships with management (18%). In both cases, these factors can be addressed by improving the employee-manager relationship, something Oracle’s own research has found as well.
Our Simply Talent: A Western European Perspective survey revealed that nearly one in three European employees attribute their feelings of negative engagement to the company’s senior leadership teams or their line managers. While disconcerting, this issue is also encouraging because it is one businesses are in a position to address.
Improving the employee-manager relationship starts with a more frequent and productive dialogue between both parties, and in the spirit of the New Year I would call on all line managers to resolve to listen more closely to their people.
For example, instead of waiting on annual surveys to gauge engagement levels across the business managers should be meeting with their employees regularly to discuss their needs and concerns, and to make sure what they’re working on is both enjoyable and suitably challenging.
TOf course once the business commits to this resolution someone needs to take ownership of employee engagement across the organisation to ensure the change sticks. This is where the HR department can play a crucial role.
No arm of the business is better placed to take ownership of employee engagement than HR. HR teams have unique insight into the relationships between employees and their managers, and have access to analytics technologies allowing them to promote on-going, fruitful discussions between them. Just as crucially, they have the expertise and tools to measure employee engagement and illustrate its impact on the business in terms that translate to value in the boardroom.
For now, though, HR’s profile remains shockingly low. Only 3% of employees who responded to Oracle’s survey said HR teams have the most positive impact on their level of engagement.With a new year ahead of us, the time has come for HR to branch out from its crucial role behind the scenes play a larger part in driving employee engagement so the company can attract, retain, and foster the development of its most important asset - its people.