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Scratching the one-year itch

July 7, 2016  /   No Comments

Jo Faragher

Compared to an era where the best sort of career path involved getting a job for life, employees getting the ‘one-year’ itch at work seems unfathomable.

However, these are the findings of a new survey from the Institute of Leadership and Management, which reveals that 58% of new starters don’t anticipate staying at their company after three years. Around the same proportion of managers are just as pessimistic, with 53% believing most new recruits will leave within the same time frame. 

The title of the report: Beyond the honeymoon: Keeping new employees away from the exit, is itself evocative. Millennials famously thrive on using their reportedly low attention spans to focus on several things at once – casting an eye over Twitter on their phone while they put together a marketing plan, perhaps. Does that also translate into high churn of jobs?

What the ILM does point out is that, during that honeymoon period when new starters are “delighted” with their job, they give their all, and employers benefit from their infectious enthusiasm and high productivity. What they don’t benefit from is the cost of re-recruiting once that feeling wears off – which can be in excess of £30,000, according to Oxford Economics.

Perhaps one thing to consider is that it takes two to go on a honeymoon, and maybe managers lose some of that enthusiasm after the first year as well? One of the key factors in retaining staff is having accessible, authentic line managers – are team leaders living up to the expectations they set when they made the offer, or has the relationship gone sour?

In the age of the portfolio career, or the ‘gig economy’, it’s unrealistic to expect people to stay with an employer for life anymore. Indeed, many of us may change careers two or three times in our lifetime. But to offset those hiring costs, and keep some consistency in productivity and culture, it pays to do more to retain those people whose eyes might stray early on in the relationship.

Whatever role, whatever generation, the same rules generally apply. Pay fairly, be honest, listen to their concerns and address them where possible. Or the ‘one year itch’ could cost your business dear. 

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  • Published: 5 years ago on July 7, 2016
  • Last Modified: July 5, 2016 @ 9:30 pm
  • Filed Under: RA Now Opinion


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